WATERVILLE — For the fourth time in five years, the Leapfrog Group has named Inland Hospital to its annual list of Top Rural Hospitals, which recognizes hospitals nationwide for demonstrating excellence in hospital safety and quality.

Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield was named a Top Rural Hospital. The two were among 26 hospitals nationwide, nine of them from Maine, named to this year’s list. The award is given to fewer than 7 percent of all eligible hospitals through the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, according to a news release from Inland. About 60 hospitals nationwide were overall winners, also in urban hospital and children’s hospital categories.

Inland and SVH are part of EMHS, a statewide health system.

“We are so pleased to be recognized again this year,” said John Dalton, Inland’s president and chief executive officer. “I am very proud of our staff who make safety and quality a priority every day at Inland. They are to be commended for achieving excellence on a continuous basis. The culture here is to always put the patient first, even when it’s not easy or convenient. This national award is a testament to everyone who works and volunteers at Inland.”

The awards, given annually, were announced at Leapfrog’s Annual Meeting and Top Hospital Awards Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

Leah Binder, president and chief executive officer of The Leapfrog Group, said the award is widely acknowledged as one of the most prestigious distinctions any hospital can achieve in the United States.

“It recognizes institutions for their excellence in quality of care and patient safety, as well as their commitment to transparency,” Binder said. “By achieving Top Hospital status, Inland Hospital has proven it is a premier institution and deserves to be recognized for its dedication to the families and patients in the greater Waterville area.”

The selection is based on the results of The Leapfrog Group’s annual hospital survey, which measures hospitals’ performance on patient safety and quality, focusing on three critical areas of hospital care: how patients fare, resource use and management structures established to prevent errors. Performance across many areas of hospital care is considered in establishing the qualifications for the award, including rates for high-risk procedures and a hospital’s ability to prevent medication errors, according to the release.

Other hospitals in Maine named to the list were Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, Calais Regional Hospital, Greenville’s Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital, Houlton Regional Hospital, LincolnHealth in Boothbay Harbor, Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockland and Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway.

A full list of institutions honored as a 2014 Top Hospital is available at www.leapfroggroup.org/tophospitals.


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