Consumer Reports releases its 2014 Safety and Mortality Ratings for 35 Tampa Bay area hospitals

TAMPA - Consumer Reports released its 2014 Safety and Mortality Ratings for thirty-five Tampa Bay area hospitals.

Medical errors are linked to approximately 440,000 deaths nationwide each year. According to Consumer Reports research, the hospital you choose can make a big difference on the outcome of a procedure.

Consumer Reports studied hospital safety, rating more than 2,500 hospitals in the United States on how safe they are.

Following the death of his teenage son, John James, creator of the Patients Safety America website, dedicated his life to improving hospital safety. He says medical errors are the third biggest cause of death in hospitals after heart disease and cancer.

"The real question is, are they making too many mistakes, and are they learning from the ones they make?" says James. "And my answer is they’re not learning as well as they could be.”

For its Mortality Ratings, Consumer Reports studied how likely patients are to have died within 30 days of being admitted for a heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia; and how often surgery patients with serious treatable complications die.

Consumer Reports hopes that by complying easy-to-understand ratings, informed patients will become more likely to survive a hospital stay.

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Consumer Reports Tampa Bay area hospital Safety and Mortality Ratings:  http://wfts.tv/OXaAXt .

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The three Tampa Bay area hospitals that ranked best for safety are Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, and Lakewood Ranch Medical Center in Bradenton.

Bayfront Health Brooksville, Bayfront Health Dade City and St. Petersburg General Hospital finished at the bottom for safety.

No local hospitals received a "best" rating in the category of Avoiding Mortality-Medical.

That category rates the chance a patient will die with 30 days of entering a hospital after suffering a heart attack or being diagnosed with heart failure or pneumonia.

Rating best for Avoiding Mortality-Surgical are: Medical Center of Trinity, Citrus Memorial Health System in Inverness and Edward White Hospital in St. Petersburg.

These three hospitals had the fewest deaths for patients with serious but treatable complications like blood clots in the legs or lungs, or a heart attack.

Surprisingly, some of the best known Bay Area hospital rated "worst" for surgical deaths: Regional Medical Center-Bayonet Point in Hudson, Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Tampa General Hospital, Florida Hospital Tampa and St. Petersburg General Hospital.

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Online:

Consumer Reports hospital ratings methodology: www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/10/how-we-rate-hospitals/index.htm .

More information about deaths in hospitals caused by medical harm: www.consumerreports.org/cro/hospitalmortality0514 .

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