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South Florida hospitals rated tops for best practices

More South Florida hospitals are following evidence-based best practices of care for certain conditions, such as heart attacks and pneumonia, according to a recent report from the Joint Commission, the nonprofit group that accredits the nation’s hospitals.

Baptist Health South Florida had five hospitals on the list, and the Memorial Healthcare System in South Broward had four in the report released last week.

The 20 hospitals and healthcare facilities all received top scores in at least one of nine key measures for 2012, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical, children’s asthma, venous thromboembolism, stroke, hospital-based inpatient psychiatry and immunization.

A hospital’s performance in each category is measured by data collected by the Joint Commission.

Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables, Baptist Hospital of Miami, South Miami Hospital, West Kendall Baptist Hospital, and Mariners Hospital were the Baptist facilities that scored at the top.

Memorial Regional in Hollywood, and Memorial hospitals Miramar, Pembroke and West also had top-ranked facilities.

Broward Health, the public hospital system for north Broward County, had three top-ranked facilities: Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Broward Health Coral Springs, and Broward Health North in Pompano Beach.

Among major hospital chains, HCA had two hospitals on the list — Plantation General and Westside Regional Medical Center. Tenet Healthcare, the other major hospital chain, had two: Coral Gables Hospital and Palmetto General in Hialeah.

Hospital scores were calculated on complex measurements of evidence-based best practices.

For surgical care, for example, the measures include administering antibiotics within one hour before the first surgical cut, appropriate hair removal and urinary catheter removal, among other measures.

And for heart attacks, the measures included aspiring at arrival, fibrinolytic medications to break down blood clots within 30 minutes of arrival, angioplasty to open arteries within 90 minutes, plus providing certain medications at discharge.

To be a top-ranked performer, hospitals had to follow best practices at least 95 percent of the time in at least one of the nine measured categories.

The Joint Commission and Medicare have emphasized the need for hospitals to follow best practices for the past decade. The full 2013 Joint Commission’s Annual Report on Quality and Safety is available here.

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