Patients in top hospitals have 27% less death risk

A new study of U.S. hospitals has concluded that patients admitted to top-rated hospitals have a 27 percent lower risk of dying, and a 5 percent lower risk of complications during their stay, compared with patients at lower-rated facilities. The study, by healthcare ratings group Health Grades, analyzed 41 million hospitalizations in 2004 through 2006 at all of 4,971 of the nation's non-federal hospitals. Researchers analyzed 27 procedures and diagnoses, including cardiac surgery, angioplasty and stenting, heart attack, heart failure, COPD, stroke, sepsis and diabetic acidosis and coma. Researchers estimated that if all hospitals offered quality of care comparable to the top 5 percent, 171,424 lives could have been saved, and 9,671 major complications could have been avoided during the three years studied.

To learn more about the study:
- read this HealthDay News piece

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