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Ben Glass
Ben Glass
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Is a Hospital's "Death Rate" a Valid Stat?

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Not according to a new study published by University of Pennsylvania researchers and reported in today’s on-line edition of the Houston Chronicle.

Apparently when you see a study comparing death rates the “best” hospitals are only marginally better than the “worst.” The study looked at results from 3,657 hospitals nationwide.

Looking at heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia, deaths were only slightly lower at top-rated hospitals in 2004 than at the lowest-rated hospitals.

The study appears in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association.

Comment from Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney Ben Glass: “I’m betting that it make a lot more difference which surgeon/doctor you have then which facility you are in. A good referral, with some basic research should help get you in the right hands.

In Virginia, patients can check out a doctor’s “track record,” at least as far as malpractice claims paid, at the Virginia Department of Health Professions website.