Interpreting hospital death rates

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6979.599 (Published 04 March 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:599

Can be difficult

  1. Michael Goldacre,
  2. Leicester Gill
  1. Honorary director Chief computer scientist Oxford Record Linkage Study, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Oxford, Anglia and Oxford Regional Health Authority, Oxford OX3 7LF

    EDITOR,—We agree that hospital death rates for myocardial infarction can be difficult to interpret.1 In a guide to hospital statistics and their interpretation we reported hospital death rates in Oxford, which ranged from 8% (27/341) to 73% (73/100).2 The hospitals were anonymised because our code of practice is not to identify individual hospitals in publications.2 The hospital with a death rate of 8% admitted only convalescent medical patients: its statistics were selectively based on survivors. The hospital with a death rate of 73% was a geriatric hospital: many of its patients were admitted, with conditions …

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