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Arch Cardiovasc Dis. 2012 Oct;105(10):489-98. doi: 10.1016/j.acvd.2012.05.007. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Does lay media ranking of hospitals reflect lower mortality in treating acute myocardial infarction?

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AP-HP, URC Eco and UPEC EA 4393, Paris, France.



Ranking of hospitals by lay media has attracted widespread attention but may not accurately reflect quality. Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) mortality is a straightforward measure of clinical outcome frequently used by ranking algorithms.


Our aim was to assess whether ranking among top hospitals correlated with lower in-hospital risk-adjusted mortality following admission for AMI.


Using a hierarchical regression model and the comprehensive nationwide database of hospital AMI admissions from 2004 to 2007 in France, we analysed crude and risk-adjusted hospital mortality rates in the ranked ('best') hospitals versus non-ranked hospitals. We subsequently restricted the comparison to non-ranked hospitals with matching on-site facilities.


We analysed 192,372 admissions in 439 hospitals, 43 of which were in the ranked group. Patients admitted to the 396 non-ranked hospitals tended to be older with more comorbidities and underwent fewer revascularization procedures than patients admitted to ranked hospitals. Between hospital differences accounted for 10% of differences in mortality. Crude mortality was lower in ranked versus non-ranked hospitals (7.5% vs. 11.9%; P<0.001). The survival advantage associated with admission to ranked hospitals was reduced after adjustment for age and sex (5.7% vs. 6.4%; P=0.087) and comorbidities (4.9% vs. 5.5%; P=0.102).


Ranked hospitals have similar adjusted AMI mortality rates to those not ranked and patient characteristics rather than hospital differences account for the variation in outcomes.

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