Hospital Death Rates Available On The Web

Armen Hareyan's picture
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A website, called Hospital Compare, unveils hospital death rates associated with heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia.

Hospital Compare is a government health website launched in 2005, run by an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is aimed at providing information on hospital death rates.

The website is designed to help both healthcare providers and patients. Hospitals need to have their scores to be published and they need to improve patient care. Hospitals need to compare previous results with the new ones and try to do better. Patients and their families also need to be aware of mortality rates, because they have their right to choose the healthcare provider on their own and need to have some figures to be able to judge.

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Previously, hospitals were announcing if their mortality rates are above or below the average. The nationally approved average is 16.1% for heart attack, 11.1% from heart failure, and 11.4% for pneumonia. However, this was not enough to improve hospital performance and provide the public with necessary information to be able to make healthcare choices.

Hospital Compare exactly reports death rates on heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia, because these areas have clearly defined ways of measuring the success of failure of healthcare providers. The published numbers have been adjusted according to previous conditions of patients to make sure that all risk factors are excluded.

The website is looking forward for publishing other data as well. It is now analyzing data on child care, based on data gathered from healthcare providers and patient satisfaction.

Harlan Krumholz, a professor at Yale University said: "I do hope that it empowers groups of patients and community groups and hospital boards to engage in a conversation with their institution. They really need to be held accountable. This is a tool that can improve the conversation."

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