United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Hospital Compare

Glossary of Terms

 

Congestive Heart Failure A condition (also called Heart Failure) in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body.
Heart Attack A condition (also called Acute Myocardial Infarction or AMI) that occurs when the arteries leading to the heart become blocked and the blood supply is slowed or stopped. When the heart muscle can't get the oxygen and nutrients it needs, the part of the heart tissue that is affected may die. (Source: Hospital Compare)
Pneumonia An inflammation of the lungs caused by a viral or bacterial infection. This fills your lungs with mucus and lowers the oxygen level in your blood. Symptoms can include fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing, chills, a "wet" cough, and chest pain. (Source: Hospital Compare)
Mortality Measures A Measure to determine whether patients admitted to the hospital have death (mortality) rate that is lower (better) than the rate at other hospitals, about the same as the rate at other hospitals, or higher (worse) than the rate at other hospitals. These measures are risk adjusted which takes into consideration how sick the patient was when admitted to the hospital. For some hospitals, the number of cases is too small (fewer than 25) to reliably tell how well the hospital is performing, so no comparison to the national rate is shown. (Source: Hospital Compare)
Risk Adjusted Mean that the calculations of the rate take into account how sick patients were when they went in for their initial hospital stay. When rates are risk-adjusted, it means that hospitals that usually take care of sicker patients won’t have a worse rate just because their patients were sicker when they arrived at the hospital. When rates are risk-adjusted, it helps make comparisons fair and meaningful. (Source: Hospital Compare)
Readmission Measures A Measure to determine whether patients are readmitted to the hospital after a recent stay at a rate that is lower (better) than the rate at other hospitals, about the same as the rate at other hospitals, or higher (worse) than the rate at other hospitals. These measures are risk adjusted which takes into consideration how sick the patient was when admitted to the hospital.  These measures look at if the patient returned to the same hospital or any other hospital within 30 days of their stay. For some hospitals, the number of cases is too small (fewer than 25) to reliably tell how well the hospital is performing, so no comparison to the national rate is shown (Source: Hospital Compare)
Readmission Readmission is when patients who have had a recent stay in the hospital go back into a hospital again. The information on this website shows how often patients are readmitted within 30 days of admission from a previous hospital stay for heart attack, heart failure, or pneumonia. Patients may have been readmitted back to the same VA hospital or to a different VA hospital. They may have been readmitted for the same condition as their recent hospital stay, or for a different reason (Source: Hospital Compare).
Interval Estimate The interval estimate shows the possible range of the hospital’s score. Because measurement of readmission and mortality rates is imperfect, all scores have a possible range that accounts for the errors in measurement. For example, the actual score might be “5.0” but because of errors, the score actually falls somewhere between “4.3” and “5.7.” As a patient it allows you to understand that the scoring is not perfect, and the hospital’s “real” scores can fall into a wider range that the actual rate indicates. Select “Yes” in the drop down box to see these ranges, and select “No” to simply see the score.