Cheap Healthcare and Mortality Rates
It is definitely possible to find cheap healthcare of high quality. What you need to do is ask a hospital about its mortality statistics, a legal requirement in most countries. How many patients live and how many die, factored in relation to their age, diagnoses, and condition can provide a clear cut reflection of the performance of a hospital’s physicians. While the medical community has for years resisted such measurement and the ensuing publicity, the growing trend is towards collection of such data in a large number of hospitals.
Medical Packages and Quality Control
Quality claims of cheap healthcare must also be credible. And mortality statistics play a key role in this. The change began about 15 years ago when a Harvard Medical Study Team led by Prof. Howard Hiatt found that about 10% of hospital deaths could be avoided simply by paying attention to mortality rates. If researched efficiently, extensive databases of medical records can identify problems and monitor the effects of reforms on the mortality statistics.
Medical Packages and Transparency
Publicizing a hospital’s mortality rates used to make doctors very nervous. That mindset is fortunately changing. Medical packages need to be transparent too. Whereas earlier information was only sent to a hospital on request, now Hospital Standardized Mortality Ratios (HSMRs) are published on Web sites and more hospitals are keen to know the statistics. Over 3,000 American hospitals participated in a drive initiated by Boston’s Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in order to reduce mortality rates. Walsall Hospital had the highest mortality statistics when the HSMRs were published back in 2001, but hospital administrators and clinicians put mortality tracking systems into place and were able to cut the rate by 300% by 2005.