Medford, MA – Both Hallmark Health System hospitals (Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital) were honored with "A" grades in the Fall 2014 Hospital Safety Score, which rates how well hospitals protect patients from errors, injuries and infections. The grades are released every six months by Leapfrog, and this is the sixth consecutive time the Hallmark Health hospitals have received scores of "A."

The Hospital Safety Score is compiled under the guidance of the nation's leading experts on patient safety and is administered byThe Leapfrog Group (Leapfrog), an independent industry watchdog. The first and only hospital safety rating to be peer-reviewed in the Journal of Patient Safety, the Score is free to the public and designed to give consumers information they can use to protect themselves and their families when facing a hospital stay.

"We are very proud to once again receive "A" grades from the Leapfrog Group," said Michael V. Sack, president and CEO of Hallmark Health. The grades are areflection of the dedication and commitment of our staff to provide high quality care in our communities everyday."

"Patient safety needs to be a 24-7 priority for hospitals, as errors and infections are all too common and often deadly," said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, which administers the Hospital Safety Score. "We commend the 'A' hospitals, including Hallmark Health, for helping us to raise the standards of health care nationwide, and demonstrating that they've made the well-being of patients a top priority."

Developed 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. More than 2,500 U.S. general hospitals were assigned scores in fall 2014, with about 31-percent receiving an "A" grade. The Hospital Safety Score is fully transparent, with a full analysis of the data and methodology used in determining grades available online.

To see how Hallmark Health's scores compare locally and nationally, and to access consumer-friendly tips for patients and their loved ones, visit the newly updated Hospital Safety Score website. Consumers can also go to that website for a free download of the Hospital Safety Score mobile app.

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