30.07.2009Santeon aims for usable and reliable mortality rate
Minister Klink wants to coerce hospitals to publish their mortality rates from 2010. But a comparative research by Santeon reveals that the HSMR (Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio) is not yet suitable to be used as a measuring instrument for the quality of care. Santeon aims for uniformity and comparability of the medical code system, so the rate will be a reliable reflection of the quality of care.
Santeon considers the mortality rate a useful tool to objectively establish a hospital’s stronger and weaker points. That is why, to improve the quality of care, the six hospitals compared their death rates from 2003 through 2007 at a detail level. “The big differences between our HSMR results and the erratic development of death rates over the years could not be explained by variations in quality of care. It turned out that ‘non-care-related factors’, like incorrect, incomplete national medical registration data and certain patient and regional factors, influenced the HSMR results”, says Douwe Hemrika, chairman of Santeon. “Our cooperation offers the possibility to analyse these variable factors and correct them, paving the way for a usable and reliable HSMR figure”.
The Hospital Standardized Mortality Rate (HSMR) is a methodology for assessing avoidable deaths in hospitals and to compare them with other hospitals. The HSMR indicates to what extent a hospital has a higher or lower mortality rate than may be expected on the basis of the life expectancy of the patients admitted to that hospital. If the HSMR is significantly higher than 100, more patients pass away in a hospital than may be expected on the basis of the mix of patients.
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