Top Hospitals Have 27% Lower Mortality, Annual Study Finds
The HealthGrades Seventh Annual Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study identifies hospitals in the top five percent nationally in terms of mortality and complication rates across 26 procedures and diagnoses, from heart attacks to total knee replacement. Hospitals achieving this level of care are designated as Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence by HealthGrades and are identified on the organization's consumer website, HealthGrades.com. Many hospitals excel in a given service line, but what differentiates these top hospitals is their quality achievement across a broad range of procedures and treatments, HealthGrades says.
The 2009 study of Medicare patients found that 152,666 lives may have been saved and 11,772 major complications avoided during the three years studied, had the quality of care at all hospitals matched the level of those in the top five percent. The difference between these top hospitals and the rest of the pack highlights a distinct gap between them.
Individuals can see how their local hospitals are rated, and if they have been designated Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence, for free online.
"This study echoes others that have found distinct quality gaps between top-performing hospitals and others," says Dr. Rick May, MD, HealthGrades senior physician consultant and an author of the study. "Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence comprise a group of hospitals that excel across the board, not just in one or two specialties, and they should be commended for their relentless commitment to exceptional patient care."
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