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May 1, 2015

11 Maine hospitals earn A grade in national report

The Maine Health Management Coalition has released updated hospital safety scores for 18 Maine hospitals that have been assigned by The Leapfrog Group, an independent nonprofit organization representing employers and purchasers of health care.

In Maine, 11 hospitals received an A, the highest letter grade. Seven of those hospitals have received "Straight As" since the inception of the score in 2012. Maine ranks No. 1 for the highest percentage of A hospitals under The Leapfrog Group's ranking of 2,500 general hospitals in the United States.

Scores are based on how well hospitals protect patients from preventable harm, including accidents, injuries and infections. Nationwide, hospital errors are the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer.

The 11 Maine hospitals receiving an A grade are:

• Cary Medical Center

• Central Maine Medical Center

• Eastern Maine Medical Center

• Franklin Memorial Hospital

• Inland Hospital

• Maine Coast Memorial Hospital

• Mid Coast Hospital

• Pen Bay Medical Center

• SMHC Biddeford Medical Center

• St. Mary's Regional Medical Center of Maine

• York Hospital.

The Aroostook Medical Center, St. Joseph Hospital, Parkview Adventist Medical Center, Mercy Hospital and SMHC Sanford Medical Center received 'B' grades. MaineGeneral Medical Center and Maine Medical Center received 'C' grades.

For the first time, Leapfrog's hospital safety score includes past grades alongside current grades on the website so that patients can determine which institutions consistently achieve high standards of safety and have shown continued improvement. The scores are published each spring and fall.

"Keeping an eye on your local hospital's scores over time makes it easier to spot patterns — whether a hospital is working to improve or if it's allowed its focus on safety to slip," said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog, which administers the program. "We want to turn patients into savvy health care shoppers by enabling them to take an active role in selecting a hospital. We all deserve to be in the safest hospital possible, and those include the A hospitals in Maine."

"Hospitals must consistently demonstrate their capability to prevent harm in order to earn the trust of their patients," Andy Webber, CEO of Maine Health Management Coalition, said in a release announcing the safety rankings.

Maine Health Management Coalition is a nonprofit based in Topsham with more than 60 members that include public and private employers, hospitals, health plans and doctors working together to measure and report health care value.

The Leapfrog Group, founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, is a national nonprofit driving a movement for improving the quality and safety of American health care.

Read more

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