Section: News

Flagler Hospital Ranked Top Five Percent in Nation According to Quality Study

Flagler Hospital Ranked Top Five Percent in Nation According to Quality Study

ST. AUGUSTINE , FL (January 26, 2010) – Flagler Hospital announced today that a new study ranks its clinical quality among the top 5% in the nation. The study by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization, analyzed patient outcomes at each of the nation’s 5,000 nonfederal hospitals over the years 2006, 2007 and 2008 and named hospitals in the top five percent as HealthGrades Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence™.

“This is the sixth year in a row that Flagler Hospital has earned this prestigious award from HealthGrades,” stated Flagler Hospital CEO Joe Gordy. “While it is quite an honor, the most rewarding part is knowing that our ranking was earned by achieving the best possible clinical outcomes for our patients. This is a testament to the continued dedication of our staff and community physicians who make it their priority to deliver world-class healthcare right here in St. Johns County every day.” 

According to the eighth annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study, Flagler Hospital and the other hospitals in the top 5% demonstrated patient outcomes that far exceeded those of other hospitals. Patients admitted to these hospitals had risk-adjusted mortality rates that were, on average, 29% lower than all other hospitals. Risk-adjusted complication rates were, on average, 9% lower than all other hospitals.

Flagler Hospital is one of only 269 hospitals that received this distinction from HealthGrades.  The hospital is also ranked #1 in Florida for General Surgery and Overall GI Services for 2010.   Additionally, Flagler is ranked in the top 5% in the Nation for Overall Pulmonary Services, Women’s Health, GI Surgery, General Surgery, and in the top 10% in the Nation for Overall Orthopedics, Vascular Surgery, and Heart Attack Treatment for 2010.

“Our data show that only a select few hospitals achieve high-quality patient outcomes not just in a few categories of care, but across the board and over time,” said Rick May, MD, a vice president with HealthGrades and an author of the study. “Patients in communities with a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence should feel proud of the hospital’s accomplishments, and confident that the level of care there is among the very best in the nation.”

The study states: “Patients who choose to receive their care at a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence certainly will have a lower risk for an adverse clinical outcome relative to all other hospitals.”

As a group, Flagler Hospital and those identified as being in the top 5% in the nation improved their mortality rates at a faster pace than all other hospitals. Over the years 2006, 2007 and 2008, the HealthGrades study found that Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence lowered their risk-adjusted mortality rates over the three years by an average of 14%, compared with a 10% average improvement of all other hospitals. 


This is the eighth year that HealthGrades has independently analyzed the clinical quality performance of all non-federal hospitals across the country in 26 procedures and diagnoses. In the study, the company reviewed approximately 40 million hospitalization records from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over the years 2006, 2007 and 2008.  All hospitals that participate in the Medicare program were part of the independent study. Hospitals that receive the HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence are those hospitals that rank in the top 5% when all 26 individual scores are aggregated into an overall score.

About Flagler Hospital

Flagler Hospital is a 316-bed acute care hospital that is consistently recognized nationally for overall clinical excellence.  Flagler was the only hospital in Northeast Florida to earn the Commission on Cancers outstanding Achievement Award and was the area’s first hospital to receive the ANCC Magnet hospital award.  Thomson Reuters also named Flagler Hospital among the nation’s Top 100 Performance Improvement Leaders for the past three consecutive years. Most recently, the hospital earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Care Centers, and Center of Excellence Designation for its Bariatric Surgery Center. For more information about Flagler Hospital, please visit us at   

Editor’s note: A full copy of the study is available at or by contacting Scott Shapiro at .