BMJ analysis: Mortality rates a poor measure of quality

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

April 28, 2010

A new analysis from the British Medical Journal says that using mortality rates as a measure of hospital quality is not a good way to gather the true picture, reports HealthLeaders Media. This contrasts to an effort being made in Britain by the Care Quality Commission to pay more attention to mortality rates. The authors of the analysis were Peter Pronovost, MD, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and Professor Richard Lilford, of Birmingham University, in the United Kingdom.

Pronovost and Lilford assert that death rates are often too harsh of measures on which to judge facilities because they cannot take into account how sick patients are when they arrive, or their age or severity of disease. Mortality rates should be one of many measures taken into account when judging the overall quality of a hospital.

To read more from HealthLeaders Media, click here.