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Performance of B.C. hospitals compared on updated Fraser Institute interactive website

Media Contacts:
Release Date: July 7, 2011
VANCOUVER, BC—British Columbians can compare the performance of B.C. hospitals across a spectrum of safety and quality indicators using the Fraser Institute’s updated hospital performance database at www.hospitalreportcards.ca.

The Hospital Report Card: British Columbia 2011 allows for the comparison of B.C. hospitals across 41 separate indicators, two of which are indicators adapted by the Fraser Institute specifically for B.C., examining inpatient quality and safety through volumes of procedures, utilization rates, and rates of adverse events. All indicators are shown for B.C.’s 95 acute care hospitals from 2001/02 to 2008/09 (where available), comprising more than 3 million completely anonymous patient records.

Some of the performance indicators published in the report card include respiratory failure rates, rates of infection, accidental punctures or wounds, birth trauma, trauma during caesarian delivery, foreign objects left in patients during surgery, bed sores, deaths among patients with low-mortality diagnoses, and deaths following various procedures.

“The B.C. hospital report card provides taxpayers and patients with detailed, accurate information on the performance of local hospitals, and encourages greater accountability on the part of health authorities and hospital managers,” said Nadeem Esmail, Fraser Institute senior fellow.

“While some hospitals may score well on certain indicators, they may do poorly on others. The Fraser Institute’s B.C. hospital report card allows the public and policy makers to better understand where their local hospital may be doing well and to identify where improvement may be required or problems may exist.”

The report card uses data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s (CIHI) Discharge Abstract Database. This information is derived from patient records provided to CIHI by all hospitals in British Columbia. All of the information in the hospital report card is available on the interactive website www.hospitalreportcards.ca.

The methodology behind the hospital report card was developed by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and researchers at Stanford University. The AHRQ methodology is used in more than a dozen U.S. states as well as Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario.

Since specialized hospitals may treat more high-risk patients and some patients arrive at hospitals sicker than others, these differences in the health status of patients are accounted for in the hospital report card indicators through the use of the AHRQ’s risk-adjustment system developed by 3M.

While the Fraser Institute has published hospital report cards in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia, B.C. is the only jurisdiction that provided the names of all hospitals for inclusion in the report card. This makes B.C. a leader in providing greater health care transparency and accountability for British Columbians.

“B.C.’s health ministry should be applauded for providing patients, taxpayers, and health care providers the opportunity to learn more about the performance of local hospitals. This stands in stark contrast to Alberta and Ontario, where the performance of public institutions is concealed behind a veil of anonymity,” Esmail said.


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