Report looks at hospital death rates

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A new report shows that death rates and readmissions for major conditions are decreasing in many Pennsylvania hospitals. How’s the hospital in your area doing?

The report from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council or PHC4 looks at the mortality and readmission rates for conditions like heart attack, COPD, kidney problems, colo-rectal cancer procedures, and pneumonia.

From that, it takes those figures from last year, and determines whether those rates are on par with what’s expected, or if they’re significantly higher or lower than expected. As you might expect some hospitals i our regional are doing better than others.

“We are very excited by the results.  We showed improvement across the board and we’ve improved in certain areas with reductions in mortality in stroke and in kidney disease, and also in pneumonia,” said Dr. David Burwell, V.P. Clinical Quality and Compliance at UPMC Altoona.

At the hospital, death rates for abnormal heartbeat, COPD, colorectal procedures, diabetes, and kidney failure were also at the expected rates.

Both UPMC Altoona and Conemaugh Memorial in Johnstown have significantly higher than expected rates for sepsis, however.

Mortality at Conemaugh is also higher than expected for patients with abnormal heartbeat, COPD, diabetes, acute kidney failure, and stroke.

In a response  to the report Conemaugh said it was “Disappointed with our performance, but the results don’t reflect the total quality of care offered at Conemaugh Memorial.

Conemaugh went on to say, “Our hospital cares for the sickest of the sick, and the mortality data in the Pennsylvania Hospital Performance Report shows that many patients and their families are trusting Conemaugh Memorial to compassionately care for them in their final hours.”

And Dr. Burwell says it’s important to consider that larger hospitals like UPMC Altoona and Conemaugh Memorial are referral centers for the more complicated cases in their regions.

“The drawbacks of PHC4  is that it does not adjust or take into the account the complexity of care of the patient at the facility,” he added.

To look at how your local hospital did, go to the PHC4 Report.

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