According to a study issued by Health Grades, an independent health care ratings organization, patients at highly rated hospitals have a 52 percent lower chance of dying compared with the U.S. hospital average!
The study also found that hospitals that have received the Stroke Certification from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) had an eight percent lower risk-adjusted mortality rate than hospitals that have not received this certification.
His study is the twelfth annual Health Grades Hospital Quality in America Study. The study examined nearly 40 million Medicare hospitalization records from the years 2006, 2007 and 2008. The study took into consideration trends in mortality and complication rates.
Health Grades also has evaluate individual hospitals. The 2010 ratings for individual hospitals are available, for a fee, at http://www.healthgrades.com.
The startling fact that we need to take note of is that “patients are twice as likely to die at low-rated hospitals than at highly rated hospitals for the same diagnoses and procedures,” said Rick May, MD, an author of the Health Grades study. “With Washington focused on rewarding high-quality hospitals and empowering patients to make more informed health care choices, this information comes at a turning point in the healthcare debate.
The study also found the following:
* Overall, in hospital, risk-adjusted mortality at the nation’s hospitals improved, on average, 10.99% from 2006 through 2008.
* Across all 17 procedures and diagnoses in which mortality was studied, there was an approximate 71.64% lower chance of dying in a five-star rated hospital compared to a one-star rated hospital.
* Across all 17 procedures and diagnoses studied, there was an approximate 51.53% lower chance of dying in a five-star rated hospital compared to the national average.
* If all hospitals performed at the level of a five-star rated hospital across the 17 procedures and diagnoses studied, 224,537 Medicare lives could potentially have been saved from 2006 through 2008.
* Approximately 57% (127,488) of the potentially preventable deaths were associated with just four diagnoses: sepsis (44,622); pneumonia (29,251); heart failure (26,374) and respiratory failure (27,241).
* Over the last three studies, Ohio and Florida consistently have had the greatest percentage of hospitals in the top 15% for risk-adjusted mortality complications.
* Across all procedures in which complications were studied, there was a 79.69% lower chance of experiencing one or more in hospital complications in a five-star rated hospital compared to a one-star rated hospital.
* Across all procedures studied, there was a 61.22% lower chance of experiencing one or more in hospital complications in a five-star rated hospital compared to the U.S. hospital average.
* If all hospitals performed at the level of a five-star rated hospital, 110,687 orthopedic in hospital complications may have been avoided among Medicare patients over the three years studied.
* Joint Commission stroke-certified hospitals were almost twice as likely to attain five-star status in stroke (30.1% of certified hospitals were five-star versus 15.7% of non-certified), and fewer of the stroke-certified hospitals fell into the one-star category (12.3% versus 19.6%).
* Joint Commission stroke-certified hospitals have an 8.06% lower risk-adjusted mortality rate compared to hospitals that were not stroke-certified.
The message cannot be clearer, how is your hospital rated?
Joel T Nowak MA, MSW