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Mortality Rate Dropping

Categories: RoundUp: Issue #11 | Author: David Dean | Posted: 10/09/2012 | Views: 1744
Latest Health Roundtable Data to June 2012 Available

The latest Health Roundtable analysis of inpatient data for the six months to June 2012 indicates a continued downward trend for in-hospital mortality rates. Of the 84 hospital facilities across Australia and New Zealand that have provided data consistently from July 2008 to June 2012, the raw death rate has dropped from 12 per thousand episodes in 2009 to 11 per thousand episodes in 2012, a drop of about 8%.

Our risk adjusted measure, the Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio, has dropped from 101 in 2009 to 88 in 2012 when applied to an aggregate of data from these 84 hospitals.


The Health Roundtable routinely analyses inpatient data for its member organisations on a six-monthly basis, providing information on comparative length of stay, readmission rates and complications of care.  In the past few years, we have included analysis of in-hospital deaths to match the process being developed by governments to assess the safety of care.  Since all hospitals are different, we use a standardisation process to adjust for differences in patient mix - such as age, gender, principal diagnosis, emergency/elective status, and palliative care status.

We have just released "Version 1" of the Jan-Jun 2012 analysis for member hospitals which have provided their data by our deadline of 18 August.  Reports are now loaded on our website for member access, and we welcome comments and suggestions for improvement to the analysis.  We plan to release additional updates on a fortnightly basis as the remaining facilities provide their data.

Of the facilities providing data so far, we have 84 that have provided data for at least four years to provide some trend information.  As shown in the chart below, the aggregate Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio for these facilities has dropped from 101 in the January-June 2009 period to 88 in the January-June 2012 period, a decline of 13%. 


HSMR June 2012

Part of the decline in HSMR may be due to increased attention to provision / coding of palliative care services to patients.  However, even the overall raw death rate in hospital per 1000 episodes has been trending downward, as shown in the chart below, from about 12 per thousand to 11 per thousand in the latest period.  For detailed informaton on your health service, please click on the "Mortality" tab on the website, or contact to obtain access.

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