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Cottage Hospital is Top 20 critical access hospital in U.S.

Union Leader Correspondent

May 12. 2014 7:56PM
Cottage Hospital in Woodsville was recently named a Top 20 critical-access hospital in America by the National Rural Health Association. (John Koziol Photo)

WOODSVILLE — Cottage Hospital recently added another honor to its resume, being named a Top 20 critical-access hospital in America by the National Rural Health Association.

A letter last Wednesday to Cottage Hospital CEO Maria Ryan said the hospital – founded in 1903 — “merited a Top 20 Best Quality designation” and added that the association considers Cottage Hospital “to be an exemplar of best practices in all of rural health care.”

The NHRA said it looked at quality, outcomes, patient perspective, competitive strength, competitive intensity, market size and growth, cost and charge and financial stability.

Ryan said the award “recognizes the hard work and commitment to quality that every one of Cottage Hospital’s staff members, medical staff providers and volunteers have. It also comes on the heels of the award we received last December that recognized the hospital as a HealthStrong Award winner for Excellence in Efficiency. Together, the awards are confirmation of the strides we’ve made turning Cottage Hospital into one of the best rural hospitals in the country.”

“Cottage Hospital was the only hospital in New Hampshire to receive the Best Practice-Quality award,” said Ryan, who congratulated Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro and Speare Hospital in Plymouth for also being named to the CAH Top 20.

Representatives of the three hospitals will receive their awards during the NRHA’s Critical Access Hospital Conference on Oct. 1–3 in Kansas City, Mo.

Earlier this year, Cottage Hospital, which serves communities in both the Granite State and Vermont, completed the requirements for yet another stage of a federal process for an electronic health-record system and is awaiting final confirmation from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Upon receiving the confirmation, Cottage Hospital would be the lone Granite State facility and one of a handful nationally to achieve the CMS’s Stage 2 Meaningful Use designation, said Maryanne Aldrich, who is Cottage’s director of community relations and fund development.

Aldrich said that Cottage Hospital is looking to expand on its campus with the eventual construction of a new medical-arts building that would honor the late Dr. Harry M. Rowe, a long-time staff member, who died in 2012.

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