HealthGrades IDs Notable Hospitals for Clinical Excellence

If all hospitals performed at this level, thousands of Medicare deaths, complications could be averted

TUESDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The top 5 percent of U.S. hospitals has more than a 30 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality across 17 procedures and diagnoses, compared with other hospitals, according to the 10th annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study published online Jan. 24.

Kristin Reed, M.P.H., from HealthGrades in Denver, and colleagues compared the outcomes from the top 263 U.S. hospitals (top 5 percent) with outcomes from all other hospitals to identify the impact of the variation in quality. These hospitals were designated the HealthGrades Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence.

The authors report that, from 2008 to 2010, the Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence had a 30.07 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality across 17 procedures and diagnoses; across nine procedures, risk-adjusted complications were 1.86 percent lower. If all hospitals had performed at the level of these hospitals, 165,704 Medicare deaths may have been averted and 6,800 Medicare in-hospital complications may have been prevented. The Distinguished Hospitals are located in 38 states, and 26 states have top cities for hospital quality, determined by having the most Distinguished Hospitals in a designated market area.

"In an environment where one in seven Medicare beneficiaries are harmed as a result of their hospitalization and patients are fearful of the very institutions that save their lives, it is important to identify and acknowledge those hospitals that are leading the way and provide consumers access to this information," the authors write.

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