The latest Hospital Safety Scores released by the not-for-profit watchdog Leapfrog Group show almost half of general, acute-care hospitals in Florida earned an A.
The group calculates the grades twice a year on using data on errors, injuries, accidents and infections, and posts the results in a searchable database.
Out of the 165 Florida hospitals they graded, 77 got an A.
"We think that patient safety is one of the first factors patients should consider when choose a hospital,” said Erica Mobley, communications director for the Leapfrog Group. "But we recognize that even with that, some patients may not have the choice of an A or B hospital in their community or one that's within their insurance plan or covered network."
Several hospitals got Cs and Ds, but once again, no Florida hospitals failed.
Seven Florida hospitals earned a "D" grade for spring 2015:
· Citrus Memorial Hospital, Inverness
· Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center, Davenport
· Highlands Regional Medical Center, Sebring
· Jackson Hospital, Marianna
· Putnam Community Medical Center, Palatka
· Sacred Heart Hospital, Pensacola
· University of Miami Hospital
Medical experts say hospital errors kill about 400,000 people across the country each year. Over the past three years, the Leapfrog Group has issued grades, which are determined largely by Medicare data.
"Patient safety is something that really covers all areas of hospital care and is the first thing people should be thinking about.,” Mobley said. “Am I going to go to a hospital that will protect me from harm? Or am I going to go to a hospital where something bad might happen to me?"
While Mobley noted the most important grade for patients to consider is the most recent grade, looking at previous grades can show how a hospital is getting better or worse over time. The group has graded hospitals since spring 2012.
There are 16 Florida hospitals that have earned an "A" each time Leapfrog graded them:
· Baptist Health South Florida Baptist Hospital of Miami
· Baptist Health South Florida Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables
· Baptist Health South Florida Homestead Hospital
· Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte
· Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in Daytona Beach
· Gulf Breeze Hospital
· Lake City Medical Center
· Mayo Clinic Hospital Jacksonville
· Memorial Hospital Miramar
· Memorial Regional Hospital, Hollywood
· Memorial Regional Hospital, South Hollywood
· Parrish Medical Center, Titusville
· Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, Hudson
· St. Lucie Medical Center
· West Boca Medical Center
· West Marion Community Hospital, Ocala
Even though a hospital may have an "A" grade for safety, one of the things all patients should be asking staff is if they have washed their hands, the Leapfrog Group said.