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Tomorrow, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) is coming to UHN, to announce the national data on Hospital Standardized Mortality Ratio (HSMR). They will make public HSMR results for most of the larger hospitals across Canada. As you may know, HSMR is an indicator of the risk of mortality in individual hospitals. HSMR compares the risk of mortality by evaluating patients with similar diagnoses and by applying risk adjustment based on patient age, gender, acuity and co-morbidities (that is, HSMR is adjusted to reflect how sick patients are when they enter hospital).
HSMR is intended to serve as a quality indicator, to help measure the impact of improvements in care and to track the hospital's performance over time. A rate above '100' means the hospital's mortality rate is higher than average, below '100' means the rate is lower.
UHN's most recent HSMR is 84, which means that mortality is lower at UHN than the Canadian average. Everyone in this organization has contributed to the effort to make UHN a safe hospital, from clinicians working at the bedside, to housekeeping staff keeping our units clean, to the Critical Care Rapid Response Teams who provide immediate assessment for unstable patients. There are too many individuals to recognize who have contributed to these results and I will simply say that everyone working at UHN is responsible for patient safety.
This is the first time that HSMR has been publicly reported in Canada. We have been reporting unadjusted mortality results on our 2007 Balanced Scorecard and we will continue to track this important performance indicator. We have a variety of initiatives underway to further enhance safety including decreasing rates of hospital-acquired infection through hand washing. These results are a credit to the work that you are all doing but I think that we would like to make UHN even safer in the future.