AYER -- Nashoba Valley Medical Center was awarded an "A" grade in the fall update to the Hospital Safety Score, which rates how well hospitals protect patients from accidents, errors, injuries and infections.

The Hospital Safety Score is compiled under the guidance of the nation's leading experts on patient safety and is administered by The Leapfrog Group, an independent industry watchdog.

The first and only hospital safety rating to be analyzed in the peer-reviewed Journal of Patient Safety, the Score is designed to give the public information they can use to protect themselves and their families. All 10 acute care hospitals in the Steward Health Care System received an "A" grade from Leapfrog.

"Nashoba Valley Medical Center's outstanding team of physicians, medical professionals and employees continually focus on patient safety and are extremely dedicated to delivering high quality care to our patients. Providing quality, safe care is our top priority," said Doreen Thomas, interim president of Nashoba Valley Medical Center. "We are very proud to receive the highest rating available for our ongoing safety efforts."

Calculated under the guidance of Leapfrog's Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single "A," "B," "C," "D," or "F" score representing a hospital's overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm.


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More than 2,500 general U.S. hospitals were assigned scores this fall.

"As patients begin to take a more active role in selecting where to receive health care, it has never been more important to focus on hospital safety and transparency. The 'A' hospitals, including Nashoba Valley Medical Center, are helping us to raise the standards of health care nationwide," said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog. "We offer our congratulations and hope Nashoba Valley Medical Center will continue to strive for an ever-increasing level of excellence in patient safety."

Acute care hospitals in the Steward Health Care System that received an "A" include: Saint Anne's in Fall River, Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Brighton, Norwood Hospital, Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer, Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill, Morton Hospital in Taunton, Quincy Medical Center. Leapfrog does not evaluate specialty hospitals, such as New England Sinai Hospital in Stoughton, which specializes in long-term acute care.

"We are incredibly proud of this award because it recognizes our ongoing commitment to health-care quality and patient safety at Nashoba Valley Medical Center and across the Steward system," said Justine Carr, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Steward. "In the past three years, Steward has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in new services, new physicians, significant infrastructure improvements and new clinical technology to improve the quality of care and patient experience in our hospitals."