Sunday, August 21, 2005

How is your hospital performing?

The New York Tiimes has an article today titled, "Hospitals are Uneven on Basics," which reviews how Connecticut hospitals are performing on basic care measures, such as providing appropriate treatment to heart attack patients. This information comes from a Department of Health and Human Services resource called Hospital Compare, which can be used to see how frequently hospitals across the nation (including TN) provide what is considered the standard of care.

To use the site, you will select your location, then be taken through a few screens to select the hospitals you want to compare and the areas of care (heart attack, heart failure, and/or pneumonia) and treatments you want to look at. The results will also tell you why each measure/treatment is considered important. A couple of notes: a lot of data is missing for some of the Nashville hospitals (they're either not reporting data, or the sample is too small to draw conclusions), and the site doesn't work perfectly in browsers for Mac. Additionally, I haven't spent enough time with the detailed data to understand how reporting methods may affect the results, so use at your own risk. I would encourage you to look at all the measures, as I have omitted those for pneumonia. I selected Nashville, all listed hospitals, and all areas of care and treatments to obtain the following results, focusing on heart-related statistics because heart diseases are the leading cause of death in the US.

  • % of heart attack patients given aspirin at arrival: Baptist 98%; Skyline 98%; Centennial 97%; Southern Hills 97%; St Thomas 97%; Vanderbilt 93%; National Average 91%; TN Avg 87%.
  • % of heart attack patients given aspirin at discharge: Vanderbilt 98%; Baptist 96%; St Thomas 96%; Skyline 89%; Centennial 86%; Southern Hills 70%; National Avg 86%; TN Avg 77%.
  • % of heart attack patients given beta blocker at arrival: Skyline 100%; Baptist 96%; Vanderbilt 92%; St Thomas 86%; Centennial 84%; Southern Hills 80%; Nat'l Avg 83%; TN Avg 76%.
  • % of heart attack patients given beta blocker at discharge: Skyline 100%; Baptist 97%; Vanderbilt 94%; Centennial 88%; St Thomas 86%; Southern Hills 84%; Nat'l Avg 84%; TN Avg 74%.
  • % of heart failure patients given smoking cessation advice/counseling: Centennial 94%; St Thomas 81%; Vanderbilt 79%; Baptist 60%; Nat'l Avg 65%; TN Avg 70%.
  • % of heart failure patients given discharge instructions: Skyline 88%; Centennial 73%; Vanderbilt 70%; St Thomas 59%; Baptist 46%; Southern Hills 44%; Nat'l Avg 45%; TN Avg 49%.

    Links:
    MedlinePlus resources on heart attack
    MedlinePlus resources on heart failure
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