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Hospital Quality Study in America

Healthcare Research August 28, 2018

Annual Report Polls 5000 Hospitals based on Medicare Records

Whether it’s emergency care or a planned procedure, everyone wants to make sure they are receiving the best possible medical care. Location definitely impacts the quality of your medical care.

The annual Hospital Quality in America Study was just released and shows a wide gap in the quality of care between the top performing hospitals and all others. The study included evaluation of 18 procedures and conditions.

5000 hospitals across the US were studied over a two year period. Results were based on Medicare records from over 40 million hospitals. Researchers used the data to determine the best and worst regions and states in the country for hospital care.

According to Dr. Samantha Collier, one of the authors of the study, there is a big difference in quality among the nation’s best and poorest-performing hospitals. Statistically, patients are 71 percent less likely to die during procedures or under care at the nation’s top-performing hospitals.

The best care was found to be in five states in the Midwest Region:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Wisconsin

The worst care was found in eleven states of the Northeast and South Central Regions; less than 7 percent of the hospitals in these states are considered “top-performing”:

  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont

Other areas of interest included the East North Central Region, which had the highest concentration of top-performing hospitals at 26 percent.

The West South Central Region demonstrated most overall improvement for all procedures and conditions. By contrast, the region with the least improvement was the Mountain Region which includes: Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Dr. Collier explains that concentrating on copying practices from the best hospitals will help improve care everywhere. She feels that four areas of procedures could be focused upon to achieve up to a 50 percent reduction in potentially preventable deaths:

  • heart failure
  • respiratory failure
  • sepsis (blood infection)
  • pneumonia

Just because you live in a region with one of the lower ratings doesn’t mean you won’t find a good hospital. And if you live in an area with the best ratings, it’s still possible to find lesser-quality care. Studies like this help improve the quality of health care overall.

No matter where you live, you should have access to good quality medical procedures. It is worthwhile to spend a little time checking out your local hospital and medical care facilities to see how they stack up.

Hospital quality, individual doctors and providers can be researched on Healthgrades‘ website, the company that conducts the annual hospital study.

   

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