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Maine hospitals lead in safety, Leapfrog says; 773 US hospitals earn an 'A'

Of the 2,530 hospitals issued a Hospital Safety Score, 773 earned an “A,” 724 earned a “B,” 866 earned a “C,” 133 earned a “D” and 34 failed.

Portland, Maine in August 2015. (photo by Henry Powderly)Portland, Maine in August 2015. (photo by Henry Powderly)

Maine has the highest percentage of safe hospitals in the nation, according to the latest Hospital Safety Scores released on Wednesday by the Leapfrog Group.

The New England state saw 68 percent of its facilities earn an "A" grade in the latest rankings, with 11 of the 16 hospitals earning highest marks. It is the fourth time in a row Maine led the rankings.

Massachusetts, known for having some of the most esteemed hospitals in the United States came in second, with more than 60 percent of its hospitals earning an "A" for safety. Of course, Massachusetts has far more hospitals than mostly rural Maine, and saw 35 of its 58 hospitals scoring top marks. Florida ranked third, with 56 percent of hospitals earning "A" scores.

[Also: See which hospitals earned an 'A']
[Also: See which hospitals scored an 'F']
[Also: See how states rank for hospital safety in Leapfrog's latest ratings]

Leapfrog updates its Hospital Safety Scores twice a year using data from patient safety experts, quality data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and results from its Leapfrog Hospital Survey.

According to Leapfrog, hospital safety across the country is improving, with hospitals on average gaining ground on eight of the measures tracked by Leapfrog. However, Leapfrog saw declines in six measures, including foreign objects left in patients after surgery. The survey also found results can vary widely, no matter where they are located or how many beds they have.

Of the 2,530 hospitals issued a Hospital Safety Score, 773 earned an "A," 724 earned a "B," 866 earned a "C," 133 earned a "D" and 34 failed.

Leapfrog also said 133 hospitals earned a "Straight A" score for consistently earning top marks in the survey. Those include the Baptist Health South Florida system, Chicago's Rush University Medical Center, the University of Chicago Medical Center and both Baystate Medical Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Massachusetts.

Most notable was Beckley Appalachian Regional Healthcare Hospital in West Virginia, which jumped from a "D" in the spring to a "A" in this latest round. The hospital earned top scores in Computerized Physician Order Entry, safe surgical practices and incidents of fall and trauma. The facility also saw a rate of zero for central line infections.

Leapfrog's ratings are among several high-profile ranking programs, though they skew towards patient safety. U.S. News and Healthgrades rate overall hospital excellence. Truven's rankings include financial management and the Hospital Compare rankings by CMS focus on patient experience.

"Although no hospital is perfect, our family members, neighbors and colleagues deserve the safest care possible," said Leapfrog CEO Leah Binder. "We urge consumers to put safety first when planning a hospital stay, and we urge hospitals to double down on their commitment to safety."

Here is the complete list of how Maine hospitals scored:

Hospital City Fall 2015 Spring 2015 Fall 2014 Spring 2014 Fall 2013 Spring 2013 Fall 2012
Hospital City Fall 2015 Spring 2015 Fall 2014 Spring 2014 Fall 2013 Spring 2013 Fall 2012
Cary Medical Center Caribou A* A A A A A A
Central Maine Medical Center Lewiston B A A A A A A
Eastern Maine Medical Center Bangor A* A A A A A A
Franklin Memorial Hospital Farmington A A A A A B B
Inland Hospital Waterville A* A A A A A A
Maine Coast Memorial Hospital Ellsworth A A A B A A A
Maine General Medical Center Augusta C C C C C B B
Maine Medical Center Portland C C C C B B B
Mercy Hospital of Portland Portland B B A A A A A
Mid Coast Hospital Brunswick A* A A A A A A
Pen Bay Medical Center Rockport A* A A A A A A
SMHC Biddeford Medical Center Biddeford A A A A A A A
St. Joseph Hospital of Bangor Bangor C B B C C A A
St. Mary's Regional Medical Center of Maine Lewiston A* A A A A A A
The Aroostook Medical Center Presque Isle A B B A A A A
York Hospital York A A B A A C C

Twitter: @HenryPowderly

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