Study: No 'best' size for hospital performance

Does size matter? That's what Truven Health Analytics sought to answer when it looked at hospitals of different size and teaching status and their performance levels.

While researchers found significant differences in hospital performance when measuring for size and teaching status, no one hospital-size class had the "best" or "worst" performance in all metrics, according to study results released this week.

Major teaching hospitals had significantly higher survival rates, but they also had significantly higher complication rates and lower patient safety scores, according to the study.

According to researchers, the variation represents specific challenges faced by different-sized hospitals and the leadership teams in each hospital-size class.

For example, larger hospitals showed lower inpatient and 30-day mortality rates than small and medium community hospitals. The higher mortality rates could be associated with small and medium community hospital leaders prioritizing investments in electronic medical records or telemedicine over hospice services, the study noted.

This week Truven also released a study that looked at hospital ownership and found nonprofit church-owned hospitals had shorter lengths of stay, better mortality rates and higher levels of overall satisfaction than their public and for-profit counterparts.

To learn more:
- here's the research announcement
- check out the study (.pdf)