Mortality Rates Hospital Quality Indicator. Search the best hospital.

Mortality Rate is one of the significant quality indicators for the public to analyze healthcare centers. Mortality Rate (MR) for a medical institution is a measure of the number of deaths in that particular institution within a set period of time. However, MR cannot be a sole factor to consider the quality of services rendered by that institution as there are many conditions that influence the overall Mortality Rate of a hospital. We will discuss these impacting factors comprehensively in the following article, but let’s first begin by understanding the basics of Mortality Rate and how is it determined. 

Defining Mortality Rate

Typically, hospitals are assessed for their quality care based on the following types of Mortality Rate:-

  • Hospital Mortality Rate
    It indicates the death rate of patients in a particular hospital/medical institution. The formula to calculate Hospital Mortality Rate:-

Number of deaths/Number of discharges + Number of deaths

  • Proportional Maternal Mortality Rate
    It represents the overall death rate of women during childbirth or due to pregnancy-related complications or within 42 days of the termination of pregnancy at a particular hospital/medical institution. Basically, any reason of death associated or aggravated by pregnancy, but not accidental or incidental causes. The formula to calculate the Proportional Maternal Mortality Rate is:-

Total number of maternal deaths/Total number of deaths

  • Proportional Infant Mortality Rate
    It is the death rate of children who are less than 1 year old at a particular hospital/medical institution. The formula to calculate Proportional Infant Mortality Rate is:

Total number of infant deaths/ Total number of deaths

Why Mortality Rate is not the Ideal Quality Indicator?

While a prominent factor to consider, the Mortality Rate of a healthcare center is not the ideal quality indicator. This is because, there are several factors including hospital types, locations, services, etc. that impact the overall Mortality Rate. Below, we have elaborated the key influential aspects of Mortality Rate:-

  • Severity of Treatment
    Some hospitals are more involved in treating patients with severe life-threatening diseases like cancer, heart attack, stroke, etc. Evidently, their Mortality Rates are higher than hospitals that don’t take up such serious health cases.
  • Disease Stricken Region
    Certain diseases are very common in some parts of a country when compared to other cities or states. This also affects the Mortality Rate of the hospitals in that particular region. For instance, diseases like swine flu is most commonly occur in the western parts of India, which evidently increases Mortality Rates in hospitals present in these regions.
  • Socio-economic Stature
    Socioeconomic status of the region where the hospital is situated also plays a key role in determining the Mortality Rate. Hospitals located in low socioeconomic zones are generally associated with high morbidity and Mortality Rate due to lack of hygiene and sanitation in these areas.
  • Natural CalamitiesHospitals located in regions of the country that are highly vulnerable to natural/man-made calamities such as earthquakes, drought, floods, tsunamis, etc. witness a higher Mortality Rate. For instance, the northeastern belt of India including cities like Guwahati and Dehradun are prone to earthquakes, which can increase the Mortality Rate of hospitals in these cities.
  • Seasonal Ailments
    Diseases like dengue, malaria, cholera are more common in the monsoon season. Therefore, depending on the season, the Mortality Rate may hit a comparative high during some months of the year.

Mortality Rate can be a useful indicator of quality care while assessing a hospital. However, as proved above, it is not the ideal indicator. Patients must not just consider Mortality Rate but also assess other quality indicators and conduct a careful statistical analysis in order to determine the quality of services offered by the hospital in question. The above-mentioned factors offer an imperative basis of evaluation that can help them better understand the notion of Mortality Rate, further allowing them to make a well-informed health decision.

Dr. Rishab Sharma

Dr. Rishab Sharma MBBS, MD (Internal Medicine) He is associated with Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur. Dr. Rishab has wide experience in managing a variety of diseases, as well as managing critical care units in large government and corporate hospitals.

More Resources