West Florida Hospital
October 17, 2018

Becker's Hospital Review, one of the nation's most prestigious healthcare publications has named West Florida Healthcare to its 2018 national list of "100 Great Community Hospitals." West Florida Healthcare is the only hospital in Northwest Florida recognized for this outstanding achievement. The award comes on the heels of West Florida Healthcare receiving an "A" rating in hospital safety for the 6th time in a row by Leapfrog, the national independent watchdog that monitors and tracks hospital safety. West Florida Healthcare is the area's only "A" rated hospital for patient safety and has earned the coveted Straight "A" designation because of the duration of maintaining the "A" safety rating.

"This is special because Becker's incorporates independent public data; proprietary, risk-adjusted and peer reviewed methodology; and key performance metrics to arrive at an objective, independent analysis of hospitals across the nation," said Carlton Ulmer, President and Chief Executive Officer of West Florida Healthcare. "Hospitals do not apply for consideration and winners do not pay to be on this list or to market the honor."

Becker's editorial team selected hospitals based on quality, service to their communities, Leapfrog Safety Scores and other performance measures. They also used various rankings and awards including those from iVantage Health Analytics, Healthgrades and CareChex. In addition, hospitals cannot pay for inclusion on this list.

"This list recognizes hospital quality and safety programs, initiatives that we have continuously implemented into the daily care of our patients and their loved ones," said Angela Ellis, Chief Nursing Officer at West Florida Healthcare. "We work harder every day to be better in the care we deliver. I am happy to see our team receive this honor and I am proud of the outstanding care they provide to our community."

In fact, transforming the health care experience has become an important focus at West Florida Hospital. The vision is for highly-competent professionals to work in a collaborative environment to provide patient safety and family-centered care using evidence based clinical practice standards. This collaborative team of nurses, physicians, support staff and volunteers are all committed to the patient and family-centered model of care, which has resulted in consistently high patient experience scores. In addition, you will find that the West Florida Hospital culture of safety and safe practice is embedded throughout the entire organization.

"To enhance our culture of safety, we have implemented advanced technologies to help ensure that we are delivering compassionate care in the safest environment possible," said Ulmer. "We are also dedicated to continuous quality improvement initiatives which challenge our teams as they strive for excellence in developing highly-reliable processes."

Another important differentiator is the professional development support that West Florida Hospital provides its nurses. For example, they have created a nursing structure that includes Shared Governance, a model that features unit-based and facility clinical practice councils. Examples of these councils include the nurse quality council, the nurse executive council, the fall prevention committee, the nursing patient satisfaction committee and the nurse peer-review committee. All of these groups meet regularly to discuss ways to improve patient quality and patient satisfaction.

Empowering our clinical staff to have voice in the design of our processes in a collaborative way has a direct impact on our operations, clinical practice, patient care outcomes and patient experience," said Ellis. "Our entire care team is focused on decreasing practice variability, which directly improves safety and the quality delivered to our patients."

The countless hours that West Florida Hospital's physicians, nurses, clinicians and volunteers spend improving patient satisfaction, quality and safety, which results in better outcomes for our patients is publicly available on the following independent websites:

By creating multispecialty teams, West Florida Healthcare has dedicated itself to serving as the quality leader in Northwest Florida by supporting the use of valid, reliable data to assure the delivery of optimal patient care to reduce medical errors. These multidisciplinary teams of physicians, nurses, clinicians, educators and support staff who follow evidence-based care practices, process improvement techniques and systems, are able to enhance the patient's quality of care.

"We are very grateful for this external independent validation of our ability to deliver safe, high-quality care to our patients and their families," said Ulmer. Recognitions such as this are a testament to the quality and dedication of our nurses, physicians, employees and volunteers."