The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) has released its 2011 Hospital Performance Report. The document includes statewide, regional, and individual facility information about the health care outcomes for adult patients in 12 medical categories and surgical procedures. PHC4 Executive Director Joe Martin said it covers 157 hospitals across the state.
"It looks at things like how many cases were treated, and the mortalities, re-admissions, and what the average charges were. Two of the key findings in the report are that in a third of these conditions, the mortality rate in the hospital decreased significantly statewide between 2007 and 2011. And for re-admissions, a very important measure of quality, the readmission rates decline significantly in two categories over four years."
Martin said he believes the improved outcomes are tied to a big push at the local and state level to focus on quality of care - including financial incentives, and infection prevention. And he said the report's findings dovetail with other recent reports, including a Department of Health report on hospital acquired infections, which showed a decline, as well as a report released earlier this year by PHC4 that showed a drop in preventable hospital acquired infections for people with chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes.
But while Martin said the overall picture is appears to be improving, the western region of the state did not fare as well.
"The Western Pennsylvania region as a whole had a significantly higher mortality rate than the rest of the state for congestive heart failure and two categories of pneumonia."
Yet Martin said the Western region of the state has an interesting paradox in its data: a higher mortality rate, but a lower hospital readmission rate.
More information on the data can be found at PHC4's website.