Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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Study Finds Lower Mortality at Teaching Hospitals

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that major teaching hospitals, such as Cedars-Sinai, have lower mortality rates than nonteaching, community hospitals.

Led by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the study examined Medicare data from more than 21 million hospitalizations at more than 4,000 hospitals nationwide to determine the percentage of patients who died within 30 days of admission — a common way to gauge quality.

They found that 30-day, unadjusted mortality was 9.6 percent at community hospitals, but only 8.1 percent at major teaching hospitals. The difference equates to saving one life for every 67 Medicare patients admitted.

In addition, teaching hospitals had lower unadjusted seven-day and 90-day mortality rates nonteaching hospitals.

The Harvard researchers said that further studies are needed to determine the cause of the quality difference, but speculated it was likely due to the experience and expertise of the physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals at teaching hospitals, as well as advanced technologies available at these facilities.

The work was completed with a grant from the Association of American Medical Colleges, New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Cedars-Sinai. None of the organizations had a role in the study, its outcomes or the peer-review process for publication.