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British Columbia's best performing hospitals found in Port Moody and Vancouver

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Release Date: May 22, 2009

VANCOUVER, BC -Eagle Ridge Hospital in Port Moody along with Vancouver's St Paul's Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital are the province's best performing hospitals, according to a new study released today by independent research organization the Fraser Institute.

At the other end of the scale, Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge, Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail, and Campbell River and District General Hospital are among the worst performing hospitals in the province.

The rankings are based on an aggregate measure of patient mortality, the Hospital Mortality Index, which measures a hospital's performance across nine indicators of mortality, published in the Institute's Hospital Report Card: British Columbia 2009. Hospital performance is also compared in the report across 39 other indicators of quality and patient safety.

This peer-reviewed study provides an independent assessment of BC's hospitals using an internationally accepted methodology. The study 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 at or on the interactive website.

"If you have a greater chance of dying from a heart attack in one hospital compared to another, or if there is a greater chance of having a foreign object left inside of you following surgery, isn't that something you would want to know?" said Nadeem Esmail, the Institute's director of health system performance studies and co-author of the hospital report card..

"Providing the public with accurate information on the performance of public institutions, whether it's hospitals or schools, is the first step towards encouraging improvement. Both patients and care providers benefit from knowing where the standard of care might be improved and where examples of excellence might be found."

The Hospital Report Card: British Columbia 2009 compares the performance of hospitals on 39 separate indicators of quality (such as death due to a stroke) and patient safety (such as a foreign body left inside a patient during a procedure). The indicators are shown for BC's 95 acute care hospitals from 2001/02 to 2006/07 (where available), comprising nearly 2.5 million completely anonymous patient records. The methodology was developed by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and researchers at Stanford University, and employs a risk-adjustment system developed by 3M. The AHRQ methodology is used in more than a dozen U.S. states as well as British Columbia and Ontario.

Since specialized hospitals may treat more high-risk patients and some patients arrive at hospitals sicker than others, the indicators in the Fraser Institute's hospital report card are risk-adjusted to account for differences in health status among patients.

The Hospital Report Card: British Columbia 2009 allows the public to look up a given condition or procedure and compare death rates, volumes of procedures, rates of adverse events, and utilization rates for their hospital to those of other hospitals in BC.

Provincial health authorities and BC's health minister did not release hospital names for the Fraser Institute's first BC Hospital Report Card in 2008, preventing the public from accessing detailed information on the quality and safety of care provided by BC's hospitals.

"By now releasing the names of the hospitals, BC's government has taken a major step forward in terms of openness and public accountability," Esmail said.

"BC's health minister should be applauded for providing patients, taxpayers, and health care providers the opportunity to make more informed decisions about health care."

The report card provides performance measurements for specific procedures and conditions and specific areas of care as well as broader measures of quality and safety in its 39 indicators.

"While some hospitals may score poorly in certain areas or indicators, they may do better in others. The BC hospital report card allows the public and policy makers to better understand where their local hospital may be doing well and where it may need to improve," Esmail said.

Hospital Mortality Index

 2005/06 - 2006/07 2001/02 - 2004/05
 ScoreRank ScoreRank
Eagle Ridge Hospital89.21  80.911
St. Paul's Hospital84.12 80.114
Vancouver General Hospital83.83 84.81
Penticton Regional Hospital83.44 81.5 7
Lions Gate Hospital83.05 80.612
Prince George Regional Hospital82.46 82.65
Vernon Jubilee Hospital81.97 83.62
East Kootenay Regional Hospital81.68 77.818
Kelowna General Hospital80.59 83.33
Victoria General Hospital79.710 82.16
Langley Memorial Hospital79.511 73.325
Royal Inland Hospital79.512 80.99
Royal Columbian Hospital79.013 83.04
Surrey Memorial Hospital78.914 79.016
Nanaimo Regional General Hospital78.515 76.622
Burnaby Hospital78.116 79.815
Peace Arch District Hospital77.717 76.920
Richmond Hospital77.318 80.910
St. Joseph's General Hospital77.019 68.526
Dawson Creek and District Hospital76.920 76.223
Chilliwack General Hospital76.321 77.619
CowichanDistrict Hospital76.122 78.217
Matsqui-Sumas-Abbotsford General Hospital72.723 76.921
Campbell River and District General Hospital72.624 80.413
Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital71.725 81.48
Ridge Meadows Hospital and Health Care Centre71.026 73.424