When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

07 February 2006

Hospitals? Time for a checkup.

If you're headed for your local hospital, you might want to check out their latest report card from HealthGrades.com before checking in...

Medicare patients at hospitals ranked in the top 5 percent have a 27 percent lower chance of dying and a 14 percent lower risk of developing complications.

The conclusion, by an independent healthcare ratings company called HealthGrades, was based on an examination of nearly 39 million hospitalizations of Medicare recipients in 2002, 2003 and 2004 at all 5,122 of the nation's nonfederal hospitals.

According to the National Academy of Science, which sites separate studies, somewhere between 44,000 and 98,000 people die every year due to medical errors in U.S. medical facilities.

The new study is the fourth annual put out by the rating company.

"The data in this year's study indicate a clear and profound divergence between the best hospitals and all others," said Samantha Collier, an MD and HealthGrades' vice president of medical affairs. “This growing 'quality chasm' is of concern to healthcare professionals and patients alike."

Odds of Survival Much Higher at Top U.S. Hospitals - Yahoo! News

Related: Doctor's Advice: Try to have your heart attack during normal business hours (LiveScience)

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