February 21, 2012

HealthGrades lists top hospitals for emergency care

Daily Briefing

HealthGrades on Tuesday released its annual list of the top U.S. hospitals for emergency medicine, noting wide variation in mortality rates for patients admitted through the ED. 

For its Emergency Medicine in American Hospitals report, HealthGrades analyzed data for more than seven million Medicare patients admitted through the ED between 2008 and 2010.

The study focused on 12 common conditions, including bowel obstruction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetic acidosis and coma, gastrointestinal bleed, myocardial infarction, heart failure, pancreatitis, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, respiratory failure, sepsis, and stroke. Altogether, the 12 conditions represent 21.9% of Medicare admissions, and 82.6% of these are admitted through the ED, according to HealthGrades.

Emergency Medicine Excellence Award recipients
Of the 4,783 short-term acute care hospitals included in the study, 263 hospitals performed in the top 5% and received HealthGrades' "Emergency Medicine Excellence Award." A full list of the top EDs is available on the HealthGrades website.

Overall, HealthGrades found that top hospitals on average had a 41.52% lower risk-adjusted mortality rate compared with other facilities. HealthGrades estimated that an additional 170,856 patients would have survived emergency hospitalization from 2008 to 2010 if all hospitals performed at the level of top-performing facilities.

Top cities for emergency care
In addition, the report identified the 10 U.S. cities with the lowest risk-adjusted mortality rate for patients admitted through the ED from 2008 to 2010. They were:

  • Milwaukee, Wis.;
  • Phoenix-Prescott, Ariz.;
  • Cincinnati, Ohio;
  • West Palm Beach, Fla.;
  • Baltimore, Md.;
  • Traverse City, Mich.;
  • Dayton, Ohio;
  • Cleveland, Ohio;
  • Fargo, N.D.; and
  • Detroit, Mich. (HealthGrades release, 2/21; HealthGrades report, 2/21; HealthGrades methodology, 2/21).
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