Hospitals where patients are more likely to make it out alive

More than 150,000 Medicare patient deaths and 13,000 inhospital complications could be avoided each year if all hospitals performed as well as those ranked in the top 5 percent nationally, according to a new HealthGrades study.

The top-tier hospitals ranked by HealthGrades, an independent healthcare ratings organization, had a 29 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality rate than other hospitals throughout the nation. They also had risk-adjusted complication rates that were 9 percent lower than other hospitals, and show that they can improve clinical quality faster than other facilities.

[W]hat's extraordinary is that these hospitals are not standing still," said Dr. Rick May, a HealthGrades vice president and one of the study's authors. "In fact, the data show that they are continuing to improve their patient outcomes at a faster rate, reflecting a commitment to quality that stands as a model for all other hospitals." 

Thirty-six states have one or more hospitals in the top 5 percent. Delaware has the highest percentage of such hospitals, followed by Maryland, Minnesota, Florida and Connecticut. Thirteen states--including Nevada, Arkansas and Massachusetts--had no hospitals ranked in the top 5 percent. 

In reaching its conclusions, HealthGrades studied 40 million CMS patient records at 5,000 non-federal hospitals nationwide from 2006 through 2008. The risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates were evaluated across 26 procedures and diagnoses. 

To learn more:
- read this press release
- check out which hospitals made the cut