PORTLAND — The Leapfrog Group has named four MaineHealth hospitals — LincolnHealth, Pen Bay Medical Center, Waldo County General Hospital and Stephens Memorial Hospital — as Top Rural Hospitals 2020. Leapfrog’s Top Rural Hospital Awards recognize achievements in patient safety and quality.

“We could not be more proud of the care team at Stephens,” said Andrea Dodge Patstone, President of Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, Maine. “Receiving this elite Leapfrog designation in the same year that our team earned a 5-Star rating for patient experience from the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is truly amazing.”

The Leapfrog Group, an independent national quality evaluator, considered more than 2,200 hospitals from across the country for a Top Hospital Award. Of them, 105 were selected as Top Hospitals. The Top Rural Hospital Award went to just 19 hospitals, meaning MaineHealth hospitals make up more than 1/5 of the rural hospitals that were chosen nationwide for the award.

“These recognitions by The Leapfrog Group are a reflection of MaineHealth’s commitment to high-quality, safe, patient-centered care,” said MaineHealth Chief Medical Officer Joan Boomsma, MD. “MaineHealth is proud to put safety first.”

The quality of patient care across many areas of hospital performance is considered in establishing the qualifications for the Top Rural Hospital Award, including infection rates, practices for safer surgery, maternity care and the hospital’s capacity to prevent medication errors. The standards are defined in each year’s Leapfrog Top Hospital Methodology.

“The Top Hospitals designation is Leapfrog’s most competitive and elite national award, and four MaineHealth hospitals earned Top Rural Hospital designations,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “This is an extraordinary feat in any year, but even more so in 2020 as hospitals have navigated the unprecedented pressure and strain of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Maine native, it means a great deal to me that my family and friends can depend on excellence from so many Maine hospitals. I personally congratulate the board, staff and clinicians whose efforts made this honor possible.”

To qualify for the Top Hospitals distinction, hospitals must rank top among peers on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, which assesses hospital performance on the highest standards for quality and patient safety, and achieve top performance in their category. To see the full list of institutions honored as 2020 Top Hospitals, visit www.leapfroggroup.org/tophospitals.

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