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Which FL hospitals performed best?

More than 50 Florida hospitals were recognized as “top performers” Wednesday by the country’s leading health-care accreditation agency.

The Joint Commission recognized 405 U.S. hospitals, based on 22 measures including heart attacks, heart failures, pneumonia and children’s asthma care.

Dr. Mark Chassin, president of the Commission said in a press release that hospitals have shown impressive gains in recent years but “further improvements can still be made.”

Heart attack care outcomes have improved by 11.5 percent while surgical care outcomes are up by 14.3 percent, the release said.

Yet, hospitals still lagged in some areas.

For example, only 60.5 percent of hospitals scored well in quickly providing heart attack patients with clot-busting drugs.

In many cases, the list contradicts rankings released by U.S. News & World Report and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Some of the state’s largest hospitals, including Shands at UF and Tampa General were not recognized.

Spokespeople at Shands and Tampa General were not able to comment by press time on why that might be the case.

Overall, the list seems to favor smaller, regional hospitals such as West Boca Medical Center and Doctors Hospital of Sarasota.

Ward Boston III, CEO of North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville, credited the caregivers at the hospitals for the hospital’s place on the list.

“What matters most to our patients is safe, effective care,” he said. “Patients want us to help them feel better.”

Linda Quick, president of the South Florida Hospital & Healthcare Association, said data is self-reported and some of the hospitals may be absent simply because they did not report data.

Also, small hospitals may not have enough patient volume to be recognized for their treatment of particular ailments.

“This is one of many rankings,” she said. “It’s important, but it shouldn’t be the only information people look at.”

-Reporter Brittany Alana Davis can be reached at 954-239-8968 or by e-mail.