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KENNEBEC JOURNAL •

Medical Journal 2011

Morning Sentinel

Thursday, March 24, 2011

55

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Inland and Sebasticook Valley hospitals are chosen as top rural hospitals Inland Hospital in Waterville and Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield have been named to the prestigious annual listing of the nation’s top five rural hospitals published by the Washington, D.C. based Leapfrog Group. The full 2010 list includes university and other teaching hospitals, children’s hospitals and community hospitals in rural, suburban and urban settings. The selection is based on the results of the Leapfrog Group’s national survey that measures hospitals’ performances in crucial areas of patient safety and quality. The results are posted on Leapfrog’s website (leapfroggroup.org) open to the patients and families, the public and employers and other purchasers of health care. “It represents an enormous commit-

ment by the institution to not only measure what they do against tough standards, but also to work for change and be transparent about it. And it’s a signal to employers and other health care purchasers in their community that these hospitals care,” said Elizabeth Mitchell, executive director of the Maine Health Management Coalition. The Maine Health Management Coalition partners with The Leapfrog Group to garner participation from Maine hospitals. MHMC then uses the survey results, along with other national indicators and measures developed in conjunction with Maine clinicians, to report on how well hospitals and doctors safely provide the care that experts recommend on their website www.getbettermaine.org. “It is an honor to receive this award,”

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said John Dalton, Inland Hospital’s president and chief executive officer. “We consider it a tribute to the people who are at Inland and their dedication to putting our patients and their families first. It also recognizes the fact that our parent company, EMHS (Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems) has made quality and safety a top priority for all its affiliates.” Victoria Alexander-Lane, Sebasticook Valley Health president and chief executive officer, the parent company of Sebasticook Valley Hospital was equally pleased. “It takes a collaborative effort to achieve these results,” Alexander-Lane said. “Everyone — providers, staff, board, volunteers, and our management — work together to provide the best care possible for our patients and their families. We are

always striving to make improvements, to never let good be good enough. Those we serve deserve the best of care.” The Leapfrog survey, which launched in 2001, focuses on four critical areas of patient safety: the use of computer physician order entry to prevent medication errors; standards for doing high-risk procedures; protocols and policies to reduce medical errors and other safe practices recommended by the National Quality Forum; and adequate nurse and physician staffing. In addition, hospitals are measured on their progress in preventing infections and other hospital-acquired conditions and adopting policies on the handling of serious medical errors, among other things. More on TOP AWARD, Page 57

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