Is Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta, Maine the best hospital in America? Maybe.

Consumer Reports just ranked 2,591 U.S. hospitals, based on the most recent available data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The general rating high bar was meant to be 100, and depressingly, the average score across these hospitals was 51. 43 of the 2,591 hospitals ranked below 30. Here’s more, here’s a map, and here’s an explanation of the methodology. Essentially, it’s based on a safety score, patient outcomes, patient experience, and hospital practices — although each of those has different sub-categories, as you’d imagine. It should be noted that there’s probably 5,723 total hospitals in the United States, so this study ranked about 45.2 percent of available hospitals in the country. The range on this survey was 11 to 78; the low end was Bolivar Medical Center in Cleveland, MS and the high end was Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta, Maine. So what does that essentially mean? Glad you asked:

Why are some hospitals safer than others? “Likely because they do a lot of things — some little, some big — well,” John Santa, MD, medical director, Consumer Reports Health, says in the article, featured in the May issue of Consumer Reports. “That includes everything from making sure staff communicate clearly with patients about medications, which can help prevent drug errors, to doing all they can to prevent any hospital-acquired infections,” he says.

Miles sits on Days Cove up in Maine:

Damariscotta apparently means “river of little fish,” and it’s a popular resort town. Meanwhile, if you’d like to see the annual report of one of the best hospitals in America, here you go. Miles has also been recognized as a top hospital by Blue Cross.

And now, just because, here’s some video from the Pumpkin Regatta in Damariscotta:


Ted Bauer