Health — 13 April 2011
Top 10 US cities with the best emergency hospitals

Top 10 US cities with the best emergency hospitals.

A study just released by HealthGrades has found large differences in the risk adjusted mortality rates for patients admitted through the Emergency Department, both by hospital and by market areas in the US. The report comes from HealthGrades, the nation’s leading, independent source of physician information and hospital quality ratings, and are based on the analysis of more than seven million Medicare patient records from 2007 to 2009.

The HealthGrades’ Emergency Medicine in American Hospitals study focused on 12 of the most common and life-threatening medical emergencies among that patient population, including heart attack, stroke, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. The HealthGrades study included only those cases admitted to the hospital from the emergency room for further medical treatment, representing the full continuum of a patient’s care. Those hospitals performing in the top five percent in the nation were designated as Emergency Medicine Excellence Awardâ„¢ hospitals. A full listing of these hospitals, by city, can be found online at

“In the case of a medical emergency, patients need to get to the closest emergency room as fast as possible. No exceptions,” said Dr. Rick May, study co-author and HealthGrades Vice President of clinical quality services. “That said, we encourage patients to prepare in advance by identifying top-performing hospitals close to home. Our research shows that it’s not just the care you receive the moment you arrive that makes the difference between life and death, but the hospital’s ability to continue to provide you with the right care at the right time if you need to be admitted.”

The HealthGrades Emergency Medicine in American Hospitals study identified the following Top 10 Cities for Emergency Medicine, based on overall mortality rate for patients admitted through the emergency department.

Top 10 Cities for Emergency Medicine

  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Dayton, OH
  • Cleveland, OH
  • W. Palm Beach, FL
  • Tucson, AZ
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Houston, TX
  • Detroit, MI

Other key findings of the study include:

Medicare patients treated at hospitals recognized with a HealthGrades Emergency Medicine Excellence Award had, on average, a 40% lower risk of death compared to patients treated at non-recipient hospitals.

On average, for the 12 conditions studied, the percentage of cases admitted through the emergency department increased 2.64% from 2007 to 2009.

Providence, RI; Las Vegas, NV; Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL; and New York City had the highest percentage of admission through the emergency department (93.05%, 91.65%, 91.12% and 90.78%, respectively); whereas, Lincoln, NE; Sioux Falls, SD; Wichita, KS; and Omaha, NE had the lowest percentage of admissions through the emergency department (48.06%, 53.72%, 54.84% and 62.32%, respectively) for the 12 conditions studied.

HealthGrades’ Hospital Ratings

In this analysis, HealthGrades independently and objectively analyzed approximately seven million Medicare patient records from fiscal years 2007 through 2009. To be included in the analysis, hospitals must have met minimum thresholds in terms of patient volumes, quality ratings, and the range of services provided. Individuals may compare their local hospitals online at HealthGrades’ hospital ratings are independently created; no hospital can opt-in or opt-out of being rated, and no hospital pays to be rated.

HealthGrades is America’s most trusted, independent source of physician information and hospital quality outcomes. HealthGrades’ online properties are the nation’s leading destination for physician search and empower more than 200 million consumers annually to make informed healthcare decisions.

Web Site:

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About Author

Richard Lee

Richard has been traveling since he took a year off from college, where he was doing a BA in Journalism. He traveled half the world, backpacking with his girlfriend (now his wife). They spent time in South America, Asia, Greece and much of Europe. After writing about his experiences for several airline and travel magazines, he never went back to college.

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