Hospitals Report Wide Gap in Pneumonia Outcomes
State officials on Tuesday released a report listing California hospitals with the lowest and highest mortality rates for patients with community-acquired pneumonia, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The report, conducted by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, measured the quality of care for patients with community-acquired pneumonia in California-licensed hospitals from January 2002 through November 2004. Community-acquired pneumonia is contracted at home or at work.
The report found that 12.29% of pneumonia patients statewide died within 30 days of admission. The 28 hospitals that were rated the worst had an average mortality rate of 17.2%, while the 25 hospitals that ranked best had an average mortality rate of 8.1% (Vara-Orta, Los Angeles Times, 2/27).
The report attributed the wide gap in mortality rates to a variance in clinical practices.
For example, the top-performing hospitals in the state all aim for early diagnoses of pneumonia cases by using cultures to screen for the disease, according to Mary Tran, manager of the data program at OSHPD.
The report is part of a series of studies intended to inform the public about the quality of care at hospitals (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 2/27).