United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Hospital Compare

Hospital Outcome of Care Measures

  Outcome of Care Measures show what happened after patients with certain conditions received hospital care. The mortality (or death) rates focus on whether patients died within 30 days of their hospitalization. The rates of readmission focus on whether patients were hospitalized again within 30 days. Mortality rates and rates of readmission show whether a hospital is doing its best to prevent complications, teach patients at discharge, and ensure patients make a smooth transition to their home or another setting. The hospital mortality rates and rates of readmission are based on people who are 65 and older.
  Mortality Measures - One way to evaluate a hospital is to compare the 30 day mortality (or death) rates between hospitals. Since some hospitals admit a larger number of really sick patients, we need a way to make the mortality comparison fair. To account for differences in the numbers of really sick patients, the mortality rates are “adjusted” to take into account how sick patients are. This is done by including things like age, how many other diseases each patient has and so on. This “adjustment,” which is done using complex math, creates a fair comparison between hospitals, so patients and their families can make educated decisions about where they are receiving their care.

Readmission Measures - Another way to evaluate a hospital is to look at readmission, or how often patients return to that hospital for more inpatient care soon after discharge from the hospital. Because some hospitals have sicker patients than other hospitals, these readmission measures are risk adjusted to account for differences in the number of really sick patients between hospitals. A patient is counted as being readmitted if that patient ends up admitted to the same VA hospital or any other VA hospital within 30 days after the day the patient was initially admitted. It doesn’t matter if the patient is admitted again for the same or different reason, both count.  

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