Bradenton's Blake Medical graded "C" by non-profit 'Leapfrog'; Manatee Manatee Memorial and Lakewood Ranch not graded in report

MANATEE -- Blake Medical Center in Bradenton has received a "C" in an assessment that measured the safety of 2,500 hospitals across the nation.

The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit organization, which collects and reports hospital performance, in its Spring 2016 Hospital Safety Score Update gave grades of "C" to Blake and five other area hospitals.

Manatee Memorial Hospital and Lakewood Ranch Medical Center were not graded in the report, which assesses medical errors, accidents, injuries and infections, according to Leapfrog's website.

The only "A" grades given to local hospitals went to Doctors Hospital of Sarasota and Englewood Community Hospital in Sarasota County.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital, South Bay Hospital in Sun City Center, Palms of Pasadena Hospital in St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg General Hospital and Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte all received "C" grades along with Blake.

Tampa General Hospital and Bayfront Health in St. Petersburg both got "D" grades.

Findings by Leapfrog and its partner, Johns Hopkins Medicine's Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, point to a 9 percent higher risk of avoidable death in B hospitals, 35 percent higher in C hospitals and 50 percent higher in D and F hospitals than in A hospitals, according to the Leapfrog website,

"Patients have a vast array of tools at their disposal to use in making health care decisions, including a number of ranking and rating options," said Melissa Morgan, a Blake Medical Center, spokeswoman.

"Blake Medical Center has historically performed well, with many special accreditations and certifications, including being named as a top performer in key quality measures by The Joint Commission for three consecutive years," Morgan added. "We had a disappointing drop in our latest Leapfrog score with Leapfrog's addition of new metrics, but have already taken steps to address and monitor our performance improvement."

Blake was awarded a B grade in 2015.

Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter@RichardDymond.