By MAGGIE MENDERSKI
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Blessing Hospital announced Wednesday that it has been honored as one of the nation's top rural hospitals.
The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C.-based organization, selected Blessing for the honor from nearly 1,200 hospitals participating in an annual survey. The survey measures the hospitals' performance on patient safety and focuses on patient outcomes, resource use and hospital management. Leah Binder, Leapfrog Group president and chief executive officer, said in a news release that Blessing has demonstrated strong performance across all areas of quality and patient safety incorporated in the survey.
"This hospital stands out as one consistently providing safe, high-quality care, and I would be comfortable sending my family to Blessing Hospital for care," Binder said in the release.
Marueen Kahn, Blessing Hospital president and chief executive officer, explained that Blessing has several services and programs that she believes contributed to earning the award. Kahn cited the hospital's use of advanced electronic health records that ensure accuracy throughout the hospital. She also commended the hospitalists and intensivists who care for hospital patients when their regular doctors are not available. Kahn also expressed her appreciation for the Blessing staff as a whole. She said their care and diligence to the patients made the award possible.
"This is a humbling experience," she said. "It is the people on the front line who are working every day to deliver the best health care."
This year's list includes 11 hospitals, and Blessing is the first Illinois hospital to earn the rural hospital honor.
This is the second honor Blessing Hospital received from the Leapfrog Group. Blessing earned an "A" from the group in its hospital safety score Nov. 28. This top score is based on performance involving preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents and infections. Of 2,620 participating hospitals, 30 percent received an "A."
The Leapfrog Group encourages improvements in the safety, quality and affordability of health care. The group's hospital survey allows purchasers to structure their contracts and purchasing to reward the highest-performing hospitals.
Kahn received the award on behalf of Blessing at a ceremony Tuesday in Baltimore. She has invited Leapfrog Group officials to visit Quincy in January to meet Blessing's staff and witness the hospital's operations.