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Government Puts Hospital Death Rates Online

Over 4,000 hospitals

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For the first time the federal government has released an online searchable database of hospital death rates at more than 4,300 hospitals across the U.S.

Death rates for patients with pneumonia, heart attacks and heart failure are now posted on Medicare’s Web site, Hospital Compare.

Hospital Compare

"Reporting quality data on the care provided hospital patients is a key to our continuing effort to provide better, value-based health care for all Americans," HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said.  "Expanding the scope of measures is making Hospital Compare a more valuable tool for all health care consumers."

New additions to the site include pneumonia scores that track the number of Medicare patients with pneumonia who died within 30 days of being hospitalized. The national 30-day pneumonia death rate was 11.4 percent.

Medicare says the purpose of adding mortality rates to its Hospital Compare site is to provide usable and accurate information about hospital performance to consumers.

"With these new enhancements, consumers and health care providers will be able to look at individual hospital mortality scores.  We hope that this new information will cement the Web site’s role as a key driver in improving the quality and reliability of care in the nation’s hospitals, said Kerry Weems, Centers for Medicare Services acting administrator.

Medicare says consumers should not use the information on Hospital Compare as a tool to "shop" for a hospital. They say the information on the site should be used, as an additional tool to make health care decisions and that people should gather information from multiple sources when selecting a hospital.
 

Government Puts Hospital Death Rates Online
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  • Guest

    "They say the information on the site should be used, as an additional tool to make health care decisions and that people should gather information from multiple sources when selecting a hospital."
     

    If the objective is to provide "multiple sources when selecting a hospital", wouldn’t taking in to consideration the success rates be a tool to provide? For example, there was an XYZ surgery performed, and the success rate has been 90% out of 100%. This, I feel would give people a better idea to select a hospital for treatment.

    • Guest

      The operation was a success, but the patient died.

      Think about that.

  • Robert M. Taber

    The death rates due to heart attacks etc. is good information for the general public and can be used to judge a hospital’s professional competency in that area of medical discipline.  Other data should be shown with it such as the qualifications of the physicians who treat the heart problems; the number of patients who died who had the penumonia vaccine and the number who did not prior to hospitalization, the number of operating problems with equipment used during the surgeries, the qualifications of the post operation nurses and staffing levels of sub-professional personnel who perform post surgery care on the patients.  Comparing the number of deaths in hospitals without including all of the factors that make up the broad spectrum of pre-surgery diagnosis and care, skill of the surgical team that performed the surgery, post surgical care that was performed on all of the patients who died while in the hospital, creates misleading statistics.

  • http://hi.baidu.com/sanyo sankodenki

    With these new enhancements, consumers and health care providers will be able to look at individual hospital mortality scores. I also hope that this new information will encourage the Web site’s role as a key driver to improve the quality and reliability of care in the nation’s hospitals. Compared with China It is far much sounder than China ‘s system.Keep sharing. Thanks again.

  • Kern Stafford

    It is about time that hospitals are rated online.  Deadly bacterial infections after invasive procedures, physicians whose licenses have been questioned in other states being allowed to continue to practice, nurses who simply are either not trained or do not care enough … all these factors influence the death rate of hospitals.  Then again, some people go to a hospital and simply die there.  Here in WEstern North Carolina, we had a hospital (unnamed because they are on a comeback trail) that had an administrative staff who either were uneducated, did not care, or maybe even received kickbacks somehow.  Anyway, the nurses were not doing their jobs.  A physican on staff who reported some outstanding non-compliant nursing care was forced to leave.  Thankfully, she sued the hospital.  Government Medicare funding was witheld, as was many insurance payments for wrongful termination.  Quite a mess, due to massive cover-ups by administration and staff.  

    The public is finally beginning to realize that medical care in many cases is not quality medical care, but simply follows the "always was, always will be" status quo.  Staph infections, while actually caused by unsanitary conditions at the hospital are being billed to the patient.  Why is this?  The hospital caused it, why should the patient and medicare pay for thish?

    I have found that the simplest of procedures, hand washing between patients is not being followed.  Same as Dr. Semmelweis back in the late 1800s.  This would prevent much of the staph infections coursing through the patients.   

    Has medical care and safety progressed?

    In my opinion, I think not.

    Rather, the hospitals are morbidly concerned with their bottom line accountable only to their shareholders.

    Think about this.

  • http://nursingjobsinchicago.com Nursing Jobs In Chicago

    I like the idea of posting the death rates. It will make hospitals take another look at their procedures if they know the public will be scrutinizing their rankings.