Hospital earns A for patient care

ENGLEWOOD — Englewood Community Hospital has been awarded an A hospital safety score by the Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits.

“We are very pleased to be ranked at the top of a patient safety rating scale,” said Susan Rachles, director of marketing at ECH. “Englewood Community Hospital is committed to providing our patients the safest environment possible and this is something we do each and every day, using the latest industry practices and procedures to ensure the best outcomes for our patients.”

Of 2,620 hospitals ranked nationally, 791 earned A’s, 678 earned B’s, 1,004 earned C’s, 122 earned D’s, and 25 earned F’s in safety, according to Hillary Blum of Stern Associates, the public relations firm working for the Leapfrog Group.

The scale uses 26 measures considered important in keeping patients safe from infections, injuries, medical and medication errors. The numerical score is then calculated into five numerical grades. The panel features a wide range of medical experts including from Harvard and Stanford Universities.

Englewood Community Hospital has received substantial recognition in recent years, according to Rachles, including designation as a Primary Stroke Center by the state of Florida and a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures by the Joint Commission. It also received disease-specific certification for its Congestive Heart Failure program, Orthopedic Total Hip and Total Knee programs from the Joint Commission.

“We’ve been implementing … relationshipbased care,” said Kathy Benage, the hospital’s vice president of organizational quality. “We believe this important emphasis of caring and establishing relationships with our patients and families has enhanced not only the patient experience but also the safety and quality outcomes for our patients.”

The hospital expanded services in 2012 in gastroenterology, nephrology, teleneurology, electrophysiology, vascular, pulmonology, hospitalist services and emergency department.

“Our ultimate goal is to provide the highest quality health care possible to every patient every time and do everything we can to make Englewood Community Hospital the hospital of choice for our community,” said Dale Alward, who became the hospital’s CEO on Oct. 1.

The Hospital Safety Score applies to general acute-care hospitals in the U.S., according to Blum.

Excluded from the Hospital Safety Score are:

• Critical access hospitals

• Specialty hospitals such as children’s hospitals or cancer hospitals

• Government hospitals such as VA and military hospitals

• Long term care facilities, rehab facilities, and ambulatory care centers

• Hospitals for which there isn’t enough publicly reported data

Hospitals were measured in June and November. ECH received an A Nov. 28, improving a B score from June. The report for ECH was compiled from data collected from Leapfrog, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and American Hospital Association.

“Researchers and the medical community are constantly refining and discovering new measures that directly impact the safety of health care,” Blum said. “As more evidence becomes available, the weight of certain measures for the Hospital Safety Score may change, be added or replaced. The score is a composite score of a hospital’s publicly available safety measures that are deemed by our expert panel to be relevant at that time.”

The evaluation process is constantly monitored as the Leapfrog Group refines the system.

ECH is located at 700 Medical Blvd. Go to   or call 941-475-6571.

For more information on the Hospital Safety Score, go to


About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News,, and Tampa Tribune.
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