Region's hospital mortality rates ease

Hospitals in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Local Health District compare favourably with those around the state in a report that looks at deaths following hospitalisation for certain conditions.

The Bureau of Health Information report The Insights Series: 30-day mortality following hospitalisation, examines the mortality rate in all public hospitals in the state after hospitalisation for heart attack, stroke, hip fracture surgery and pneumonia, which together account for around 20 per cent of all deaths in NSW hospitals.

The report compares the  number of deaths following hospitalisation with an ‘‘expected mortality’’ rate given patients’ characteristics. 

Across the state, the number of deaths for each of those conditions has declined over the past decade, although the report showed  some hospitals had a higher than expected death rate for some  conditions.

In the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD), Milton-Ulladulla Hospital had a higher than expected mortality rate for heart attack patients. 

Shellharbour Hospital had a lower than expected mortality rate for pneumonia.

Other than those two exceptions, hospitals in the ISLHD fell within the expected range across all conditions.

Chief executive of the Bureau of Health Information, Dr Jean-Frederic Levesque, said the report showed  NSW compared well   internationally.

‘‘It also shows that the vast majority of hospitals in NSW do not have higher than expected mortality,’’ he said.

‘‘This report provides invaluable information about mortality occurring during hospitalisations as well as following discharge. The findings should not be used for comparing or ranking hospitals or for identifying avoidable deaths, but there are some important findings that point to where further considerations and assessments of care could be made.’’ 

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