Bridgton, Rumford hospitals honored among nation’s top rural hospitals

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LEWISTON — Bridgton and Rumford hospitals have been named among the best rural hospitals in the country.

The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that tracks health care safety, quality and value, this week named the two hospitals to its 2018 list of top rural hospitals in the United States. Seventeen made the list nationally, including seven from Maine — the most of any state.

In order to be named to the list, rural hospitals must meet several requirements, including scoring in the top 10 percent for patient safety, quality and use of resources.

“Everyone at Bridgton Hospital is delighted with this honor — and it’s due entirely to the hard work and dedication of the entire staff,” Jill Rollins, interim administrator of Bridgton Hospital, wrote in an email from Washington, D.C., where she accepted the honor for her hospital Tuesday.

Both Rumford and Bridgton have been named top rural hospitals in the past. Bridgton made the list in both 2016 and 2017. Rumford last made the list in 2012.

“The role of a rural hospital — or a critical access hospital —is special,” Becky Hall, Rumford Hospital’s interim hospital administrator, wrote in an email from Washington, D.C.

“We are dedicated to serving the critical needs of a community, and most of us live in the community where we work. So there’s no question that we are going to strive for excellence every day.”

Both hospitals are part of Lewiston-based Central Maine Healthcare. The hospital system’s flagship, Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, earned a safety grade of A from Leapfrog last month, making it one of the highest-rated hospitals in the state after spending six months as one of the lowest.

The other Maine hospitals on this year’s top rural hospitals list are: Blue Hill Memorial Hospital in Blue Hill, LincolnHealth in Damariscotta, Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield, Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent and Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast.

Earlier this year, Bridgton Hospital was also recognized as one of the “66 Critical Access Hospitals to Know” by Becker’s Healthcare, the publisher of Becker’s Healthcare Review. Critical access hospitals have 25 or fewer beds and an average length of stay of less than 96 hours for acute care.

In 2016, Rumford Hospital was  named a Top 20 Critical Access Hospital by the National Rural Hospital Association in Washington, D.C.

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