Editorial Excerpt | Underreported mortality rates

A recent news article claimed that the number of hospital deaths was declining due to better performance by medical staff. […]

The information, which was based on so-called hospital standardised mortality ratios (HSMR), was hailed as good news by a leading member of Danske Regioner, the lobby group for regional councils.

The only problem is that the article was at best built on shaky figures, at worst it was untrue. HSMR data can show that hospital deaths have fallen, but they can’t say why.

Experts, in fact, warn against using them to draw any sort of conclusion, and say they shouldn’t be used at all to say anything about quality of care.

Maybe even more worrisome is that Danske Regioner itself warns about reading too much into HSMR data.

Mandag Morgen

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