Healthgrades names top 258 US hospitals for clinical outcomes

Mortality for top-ranked hospitals was nearly 30 percent lower

Healthgrades last week gave its "2017 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence" to 258 hospitals, recognizing facilities performing in the top 5 percent nationwide based on risk-adjusted clinical outcomes for dozens of common procedures and conditions.

Healthgrades bases the award on inpatient data for mortality and complications pulled from CMS' Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) database, as well as inpatient data on appendectomy and bariatric surgery reported by the 18 states that provide all-payer state data. Healthgrades pulled MedPAR data for 2013 through 2015; the state data were available from only 2012 to 2014.

Healthgrades adjusts the data for patient demographics and clinical risk factors. It then gives the Distinguished Hospital Award to hospitals that are "among the top 5 percent in the nation that deliver high-quality care across at least 21 of 32 common inpatient conditions and procedures." At least one hospital in 38 states earned the Clinical Excellence award.

Award-winning hospitals had lower mortality rate for 19 procedures, conditions

As a group, hospitals that won the award had a 26.2 percent lower adjusted in-hospital mortality rate compared with all other hospitals for 19 procedures and conditions for which mortality was the primary clinical outcome. Specifically, patients at hospitals that won the award had a:

  • 22.5 percent lower risk of dying of a heart attack;
  • 30.5 percent lower risk of dying of heart failure;
  • 36.7 percent lower risk of dying of pneumonia;
  • 25.0 percent lower risk of dying of stroke;
  • 25.1 percent lower risk of dying of sepsis; and
  • 24.4 percent lower risk of dying of respiratory failure.

Overall, Healthgrades says nearly 160,000 lives could have been saved if all hospitals performed at the same level as those that received an award.

In a release, Healthgrades CMO Brad Bowman said "high marks in clinical quality are a major differentiator for hospitals, and have a profound effect on consumers when they make decisions about where to receive care." He added, "The hospitals that have achieved this distinction stand out from their peers because of their commitment to high quality clinical outcomes for their patients" (Healthgrades release, 1/17; Healthgrades infographic, accessed 1/25; Healthgrades quality methodology, accessed 1/25; Healthgrades award recipients list, accessed 1/25; Zimmerman, Becker's Infection Control & Clinical Quality, 1/18).

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