January 17, 2019
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TAMC earns national award for patient safety and quality

Community Author: Brian Mosher
Post Date:
Contact: bmosher@emhs.org
TAMC Communications and Development | BDN
TAMC Communications and Development | BDN

Dr. Peter Morningstar, a TAMC pediatrician, evaluates a newborn baby at the hospital. TAMC has been honored as a 2017 Top Rural Hospital by The Leapfrog Group. Performance across many areas of hospital care is considered for the award, including infection rates, maternity care, and the hospital’s capacity to prevent medication errors.

PRESQUE ISLE –  Highlighting its nationally recognized achievements in patient safety and quality, The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle was named a Top Rural Hospital by The Leapfrog Group . The Leapfrog Top Hospital award is widely acknowledged as one of the most competitive honors American hospitals can receive. The Top Hospital designation is awarded by The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog organization.

“It is satisfying to be recognized on a national level for the work we are doing every day for the safe, highly reliable care of our patients,” said Jay Reynolds, MD, chief medical officer at TAMC. “We are one of only 18 rural hospitals selected from across the country for this top honor.  While receiving an award such as this is certainly nice, it is what the award represents…the quality of the work we do here every day…that is truly meaningful.  A recognition such as this validates what we are accomplishing as a healthcare organization.”

That sentiment is echoed by Cherri Fitzpatrick, TAMC director of quality and patient experience.

“This is about the experience our patients are having at TAMC. It’s about exceeding patient safety requirements, and it is also about staff interactions.  Performance across many areas of hospital care is considered for the award, including infection rates, maternity care, and the hospital’s capacity to prevent medication errors,” she explained.

One of the standards that must be met is an “A” rating in the current Leapfrog Hospital Safety grade.  Not only did TAMC earn an A safety rating in the fall 2017 listing, but the hospital regularly earns that grade each spring and fall when a new scorecard is released.

“We are proud to recognize The Aroostook Medical Center as a 2017 Leapfrog Top Hospital. This demonstrates extraordinary dedication to patients and the local community. The entire staff and board deserve praise for putting quality first and achieving results,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog.

“Overall, people from The County and from across Maine can take satisfaction in the fact that Maine is consistently home to the highest number of hospitals recognized with this Top Rural Hospital status each year,” said Dr. Reynolds.

Seven of this year’s 18 Top Rural Hospitals are in Maine.  While TAMC is the only one in Aroostook County, it is joined in this honor by two other member hospitals in the EMHS family, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital and Inland Hospital in Waterville.

Dr. Reynolds will accept the award today on behalf of TAMC at the Top Hospital Awards Dinner in Arlington, Virginia.

About The Leapfrog Group

Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American healthcare. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog’s other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

About TAMC

TAMC has been providing care to patients in Aroostook County since 1912.  The healthcare organization includes A.R. Gould Memorial Hospital in Presque Isle; the Aroostook Health Center, a long-term care and rehabilitation center in Mars Hill; primary care centers in Presque Isle, Mars Hill, Fort Fairfield and Caribou; a wide range of specialty care practices; and Crown Emergency Care/ Crown Critical Care Services with five bases across central Aroostook.  TAMC is the largest employer in Aroostook County, with more than 1030 employees, including 73 employed physicians.  TAMC brings providers, services and technology to the region not typically fund in rural areas, thanks in great part to being a member of the EMHS system.