Sheffield Café Scientifique



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'What do hospital death rates tell us?' October 2013

'What do hospital death rates tell us?'
Professor Steve Goodacre
Health Services Research,
School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR),
University of Sheffield


Hospital death rates are often used to judge the quality of hospital care and identify poorly-performing hospitals. These statistics have been used to estimate that hundreds of people died unnecessarily at Stafford Hospital and show that people are more likely to die if they are admitted to hospital at the weekend. This presentation will explain how death rates are calculated and analysed, identify common misconceptions and consider whether hospital death rates really do reflect quality of hospital care.