December 4, 2018 | last updated December 6, 2018 2:44 pm

Seven Maine hospitals recognized as 'top' rural hospitals nationally

Courtesy / Waldo County General Hospital
Courtesy / Waldo County General Hospital
Waldo County General Hospital's Dr. Kent Clark, who is chief medical officer, cites the Leapfrog ratings as evidence of the hospital's high level of patient care.
Courtesy / Waldo County General Hospital

About Waldo County General Hospital

Waldo County General Hospital is a 2017 Becker's Hospital Review Critical Access Hospital to Know that operates as a family of services with Waldo County Medical Partners and Penobscot Shores Retirement Community. It is a member of the MaineHealth system and Coastal Healthcare Alliance.

The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog organization, announced today that seven Maine hospitals are included in its "Top Rural Hospital" 2018 list.

Only 17 rural hospitals nationwide were recognized by Leapfrog in this year's list. Maine, with seven hospitals listed, had the most hospitals recognized out of the nine states that qualified.

Here are the Maine hospitals recognized as top rural hospitals:

  • LincolnHealth
  • Rumford Hospital
  • Bridgton Hospital
  • Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital
  • Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital
  • Waldo County General Hospital
  • Northern Maine Medical Center.

Waldo County General Hospital announced today it's the first time since 2009 that it's been recognized as a top rural hospital by Leapfrog Group.

1,900 hospitals surveyed

The award by the Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog organization, is widely acknowledged as one of the most competitive honors American hospitals can receive.

Among thousands of hospital in the country, Leapfrog Group also recognized today 13 top children's hospitals, 35 top general hospitals and 53 top teaching hospitals.

No other Maine hospitals are recognized in Leapfrog Group's other categories.

Performance across many areas of hospital care is considered in establishing the qualifications for the award, including infection rates, maternity care, and the hospital's capacity to prevent medication errors.

To qualify for the top hospital distinction, hospitals must complete the Leapfrog Hospital Survey and achieve highest performance in its category. The selection of Top Hospitals 2018 is based on surveys from nearly 1,900 hospitals. For the full list of 2018 Top Hospitals go online here.

"This Leapfrog Top Rural Hospital designation reflects Waldo County General Hospital's commitment to providing the highest quality patient-centered care in the Midcoast," said Dr. Kent Clark, chief medical officer at the hospital. "This reward is reflection of the excellent care our clinicians and staff provide to our patients on a daily basis. We are honored to be recognized alongside so many distinguished facilities."

"Being acknowledged as a 'top hospital' is an incredible feat achieved by less than 6% of eligible hospitals nationwide," Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, said in a news release. "With this honor, Waldo County General Hospital has established its commitment to safer and higher quality care. Providing this level of care to patients in Belfast requires motivation and drive from every team member. I congratulate the board, staff and clinicians, whose efforts made this honor possible.

About the Leapfrog Group

Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog's other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

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