At its most basic, saving lives is what quality hospital care is all about. Severely ill or injured people come to our hospitals every day in search of help, and we pride ourselves on being able to provide it.
Not every life can be saved, of course. But helping people when the odds are against them by providing advanced technology, highly trained medical personnel, and care processes that are continually being reviewed and improved is what we’re here for.
Source: data from UHC, not publicly available. UHC is an alliance of more than 100 leading university hospitals.
Understanding the mortality index (lower is better)
Academic medical centers such as UK HealthCare take care of the very sickest patients. That’s why patient survival rates are adjusted to account for just how sick the patients are when they come to the hospital, considering the seriousness of their illness plus complicating factors like age, obesity, diabetes or heart failure.
Observed-to-expected mortality (death) compares two numbers:
- Observed mortality is the actual number of patients who died during a particular period. For example, 10 deaths among 1,000 patients would be a rate of 1 percent.
- Some people are so sick they are not reasonably expected to survive. More of these patients are seen at places like UK HealthCare because they are better equipped to help.
Expected mortality adjusts for how sick patients are compared with patients seen at other hospitals in the United States.
To reach the final number, the observed rate is divided by the expected rate, meaning that the number of actual deaths is compared to how many people were so sick that they were not expected to live.
A score of 1.00 would mean exactly the same number of patients who might have been expected to die did in fact die. A score higher than 1.00 means more patients died than were statistically expected to.
For instance, a mortality index of 1.10 would mean 10 percent of people who were expected to survive, did not. A score lower than 1.00 means that more patients survived than were statistically expected to. For instance, if the ratio is .75, it means that for every 100 people expected to die, only 75 actually did. Twenty-five of those very sick people survived.
Who figures these rates?
These rates are figured by UHC, an alliance of the nation’s leading nonprofit academic medical centers with 117 academic medical center and 320 affiliated hospital members. UHC performs risk-adjustment calculations for all hospitals and provides reports to the participating hospitals. These numbers are used by hospitals nationwide.
30-day survival shows how many Medicare patients survived beyond 30 days of their admission to a hospital, taking into account how sick they were when they were admitted to the hospital. Below, the survival rates for seriously ill patients at UK HealthCare are compared to the average national rate.
Source: Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services
While we want to provide you the best information possible there are many additional websites that could provide valuable information including data if available.
Information & data
- Joint Commission Quality Check
- US News Top Hospitals
- Top 100 Hospitals (Truven Health Analytics)
- Kentucky Hospital Association
- Leapfrog Group
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
- Commonwealth Fund