25 South Florida hospitals get 'A' in safety

WELLINGTON, Fla. - In the first-ever national letter-grade system ranking medical facilities on their ability to avoid infections, medication mix-ups and other preventable mishaps, 25 of South Florida's 49 hospitals scored an "A."

Among the top performers: Holy Cross and Imperial Point in Fort Lauderdale ; Cleveland Clinic in Weston ; Memorial Regional in Hollywood ; West Boca Medical Center and St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

The Hospital Safety Score, designed to arm patients with an objective tool to assess performance, was developed by a panel of experts from Harvard and Johns Hopkins universities and The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit hospital safety advocacy organization.

The news for South Florida hospitals wasn't all good, though. Eight rated a mediocre "C," including Delray Medical Center, Plantation General Hospital and Wellington Regional Medical Center.

Worse, six Miami-Dade County hospitals, including Jackson Memorial and the University of Miami Hospital, would have scored a "D" or an "F" but got a "score pending" reprieve in this go-round. They'll have a chance to improve their grades before the next ranking comes out in the fall, according to a public relations executive working with Leapfrog.

The plan is for new scores to be released every fall thereafter.


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