DOVER -- For the third time in 2012 Union Hospital has been recognized as one of the safest hospitals in the nation. The Leapfrog Group has awarded the grade of "A" to Union Hospital for its safety record, measured by its ability to keep patients safe from preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

Earlier in the year Union Hospital was ranked among the nation's top five percent of all hospitals for patient safety by HealthGrades. Then in August, Consumer Reports magazine recognized Union Hospital for its outstanding patient safety record.

Bruce James, UH president and CEO, says this most recent award helps substantiate similar recognition from the other ratings organizations.

"Leapfrog, HealthGrades, and Consumer Reports all evaluate patient a hospital's safety record by different criteria and methods. But when this hospital consistently appears near the top of all those surveys, it demonstrates that Union Hospital is performing exceptionally well.

Carey Gardner, director of community relations, says the Leapfrog Group was created by large employers around the country who purchase healthcare for their employees and wanted to have an influence on its quality, safety, and affordability.

"All hospitals are striving to improve clinical quality, to lower their costs, and to keep their patients safe." Gardner said. "Union Hospital continues to be recognized nationally for its performance in those three areas and that is good news for our patients and their employers who value a high quality, low cost option for healthcare."

Gardner said about one-third of all hospitals in the State of Ohio earned the Leapfrog grade of "A" for patient safety. Union Hospital's patient safety score can compared to other hospitals in the region at the Leapfrog web site: www.hospitalsafetyscore.org

The Leapfrog Group's Hospital Safety Score uses 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single score representing a hospital's overall capacity to keep patients safe from infections, injuries, and medical and medication errors. Leapfrog then assigns a letter grade of "A" for the highest rated hospitals for patients safety ranging down to a grade of "F" for the least safe.

In addition to multiple patient safety awards this year, Union Hospital has been recognized HealthGrades with 2012 Excellence Awards for Emergency Medicine, Critical Care, and Pulmonary Medicine. U.S. News and World Report magazine recognized UH for Pulmonary care in its most recent "Best Hospitals" publication.