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Consumer Reports Rank Miami Hospitals on Patient Safety

Several hospitals in South Florida were among the more than 2,500 hospitals ranked in a Consumer Reports study on patient safety.

Where did Miami hospitals rank?

Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah and North Shore Medical Center scored the lowest of the 44 Miami-Dade hospitals, while Homestead Hospital and Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center scored the highest on the composite rating of five key patient safety factors.

Those factors included patient mortality, readmissions, overuse of CT scans, hospital-acquired infections and communicating with patients about medications and discharge instructions.

At FDBR, we know that a hospital-related injury can result in a need for additional treatment, lengthened hospital stays and readmission after discharge. That is why it is important to be aware of your local hospital and take extra steps to make sure you receive the care you need, and deserve.

Nationwide, Consumer Reports ranked 2,590 hospitals, whose scores ranged from a low of 11 to a high of 78. Homestead Hospital and Palm Beach Garden Medical Center scored above 60 on a 100-point scale of overall patient safety performance.

Palmetto received CR's second-lowest rating in avoiding medical mortality, surgical-site infections and readmissions. CR also found 207 percent more complications from knee replacements and 101 percent more carotid artery surgeries than normal for Palmetto's patient mix.

Homestead Hospital and Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center also attained the highest rating for their use of CT scans.

Large, urban hospitals such as Jackson Health System, struggled the most with rankings, even when their scores were adjusted for a sicker population. Jackson scored poorly on surgical mortality and its Medicare patients have an 18 percent chance of being readmitted within 30 days. However, Jackson received CR's second-highest score for avoiding surgical- site infections and the highest score for making sure CT scans aren't over-used.

Preventable medical harm in hospitals contributes to the death of 440,000 U.S. patients each year, according to Patient Safety America. The Consumer Report study also found that for every 1,000 surgical patients who develop serious complications in a top-rated hospital, 87 or fewer die, but in low-rated hospitals that number goes above 132 deaths.

The report's preparers admit that the five patient safety criteria aren't the only ones consumers should be aware of, and that many consumers are limited to one or two hospitals within their insurance company's network, but they advise consumers to use the ratings to be aware of a hospital's weaknesses.

For more information, please contact us.

Source: The Miami Herald, Miami-Dade hospitals get mixed ratings for patient safety in consumer report," March 27, 2014.

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