What Type of Data Is Used to Compare Hospitals?


Angela Bailey

When it comes to comparing hospitals, there are several types of data that are used to assess their performance and quality of care. This data plays a crucial role in helping patients make informed decisions about where to seek medical treatment. In this article, we will explore the different types of data that are commonly used for hospital comparisons.

1. Patient Satisfaction Surveys

Patient satisfaction surveys provide valuable insights into the overall experience that patients have had at a particular hospital.

These surveys typically ask patients about their interactions with healthcare providers, the cleanliness of the facility, the quality of communication, and other factors that contribute to patient satisfaction. The data collected from these surveys is often summarized using metrics such as overall patient satisfaction scores or ratings.

2. Clinical Outcomes

Clinical outcomes refer to the results of medical treatments and procedures provided by a hospital.

This data includes information on mortality rates, readmission rates, infection rates, complication rates, and other measures of patient outcomes. Hospitals with better clinical outcomes generally indicate higher quality care and better patient safety.

2.1 Mortality Rates

Mortality rates provide insights into the number of deaths that occur within a specific time frame after receiving treatment at a hospital. Lower mortality rates suggest better quality care and lower risks associated with treatments or procedures performed at a particular hospital.

2.2 Readmission Rates

Readmission rates indicate the percentage of patients who need to be readmitted to the hospital within a certain period after being discharged. Higher readmission rates can suggest inadequate post-discharge care or ineffective treatments.3 Infection Rates

Infection rates measure the number of healthcare-associated infections that occur within a hospital’s facility. Lower infection rates indicate better infection control practices and a safer environment for patients.4 Complication Rates

Complication rates reflect the frequency of complications that arise during or after medical procedures. Hospitals with lower complication rates generally demonstrate higher levels of expertise and quality in performing procedures.

3. Patient Safety Indicators

Patient safety indicators (PSIs) are measures that assess the occurrence of adverse events or complications during hospital stays.

These indicators include data on preventable complications, such as pressure ulcers, surgical site infections, and postoperative sepsis. Lower PSI scores indicate better patient safety practices and a lower risk of adverse events.

4. Hospital Acquired Conditions

Hospital acquired conditions (HACs) are conditions that develop during a hospital stay and were not present at the time of admission.

Examples of HACs include catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line-associated bloodstream infections, and falls with injury. The incidence of HACs is often used as an indicator of patient safety and the quality of care provided by a hospital.

5. Financial Data

In addition to clinical data, financial data is also considered when comparing hospitals.

This includes information on costs, charges, and reimbursement rates for services provided. While financial data may not directly reflect the quality of care, it can provide insights into the affordability and accessibility of healthcare services at different hospitals.


When comparing hospitals, it is essential to consider multiple types of data to get a comprehensive understanding of their performance and quality of care. Patient satisfaction surveys, clinical outcomes, patient safety indicators, hospital-acquired conditions, and financial data all contribute to a holistic evaluation. By analyzing these various data points, patients can make more informed decisions about where to seek medical treatment.

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