Readmissions and deaths

Complications, deaths and unplanned hospital visits

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) reports data on the following outcome of care measures on Hospital Compare: 

Rates of readmission

The readmission measures are estimates of the rate of unplanned readmission to an acute care hospital in the 30 days after discharge from a hospitalization. Patients may have had an unplanned readmission for any reason.

Data for VHA and non-VHA hospitals available on Hospital Compare and in the Unplanned Hospital Visits dataset.

  • (READM-30-COPD) Rate of readmission for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients
  • (READM-30-AMI) Rate of readmission for heart attack patients
  • (READM-30-HF) Rate of readmission for heart failure patients
  • (READM-30-PN) Rate of readmission for pneumonia patients
  • (READM-30-HOSPWIDE) Rate of readmission after discharge from hospital (hospital-wide)

Death rates

The death (mortality) rates are estimates of deaths in the 30 days after entering the hospital for a specific condition. Deaths can be for any reason, and can occur in the hospital or after discharge. Death rates are measured within 30 days, because deaths after a longer time period may have less to do with the care the hospital provided and more to do with other complicating illnesses, patients’ own behavior, or other care services patients received after they leave the hospital.

Data for VHA and non-VHA hospitals available on Hospital Compare and in the Complications and Deaths dataset.

  • (MORT-30-COPD) Death rate for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients
  • (MORT-30-AMI) Death rate for heart attack patients
  • (MORT-30-HF) Death rate for heart failure patients
  • (MORT-30-PN) Death rate for pneumonia patients

Hospital Return Days

The hospital return days measures add up the number of days patients spent back in the hospital (in the emergency department, under observation, or in an inpatient unit) within 30 days after they were first treated and released. The measures compare each hospital’s return days to results from an average hospital with similar patients to determine if this hospital has more, similar, or fewer days than average.

Data for VHA and non-VHA hospitals available on Hospital Compare and in the Unplanned Hospital Visits dataset.

  • (VA-EDAC-30-PN) Hospital return days for pneumonia patients
  • (VA-EDAC-30-HF) Hospital return days for heart failure patients
  • (VA-EDAC-30-AMI) Hospital return days for heart attack patients

Infections

The healthcare-associated infection (HAI) measures are developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and collected through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). These measures show how often patients in a particular hospital contract certain infections during the course of their medical treatment, when compared to similar hospitals. These infections can often be prevented when healthcare facilities follow guidelines for safe care.

Data for VHA and non-VHA hospitals available on Hospital Compare and in the Healthcare Associated Infection dataset.

  • (HAI-1) Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) in ICUs and select wards
  • (HAI-2) Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) in ICUs and select wards

Find out why these measures are important

Get more information about the data.

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