Hospital Standardized Mortality Ratio (HSMR)

As of December 11, 2008, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) will release the 2007-08 Hospital Standardized Mortality Ratio (HSMR) results for eligible hospitals, Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and Regional Health Authorities across Canada (excluding Quebec).

The dedicated health professionals who work in this hospital are committed to providing the best possible patient care. Patients should know that their hospital is safe, that the care you receive here is top-notch, and that every effort – on behalf of every one of us – is to ensure you receive the highest-quality care possible. The public reporting of HSMR results is another, helpful measure for us to ensure your care gets even better over time.

HSMR gives hospital administrators and health providers a snapshot of a hospital’s performance at a given time – areas where it is performing well and areas where it could improve. As such, HSMR results must be viewed in context with other indicators. Our hospital intends to carefully review the CIHI report and our HSMR results, and then work with health professionals to identify and implement system-level improvements – as we do when we receive reports on other safety and quality indicators, such as those in the OHA’s Hospital Report, or in the course of our standard quality improvement programs.

It is important to note that hospitals – even within a region – often serve different segments of the population with different health needs. That may help explain why our hospital scored differently than other hospitals in our LHIN. A higher than average HSMR result does not necessarily mean that a hospital is “unsafe;” a lower than average HSMR does not necessarily mean a hospital is “safe.” That is why it is vital that HSMR results be viewed in the context of other performance indicators. The HSMR tool is not intended to serve as a measure for hospitals to compare themselves against other organizations, or for the public to use as a measure of choosing where to seek care.

HSMR should be used as a tool to help follow progress over time, and make quality improvements based on the results. That said, we recognize there is always more to do to make the care we provide better, timelier and safer.

Our hospital strongly supports the provincial government’s new public reporting regime because we believe it will inspire improved performance, enhance patient safety, and strengthen the public’s confidence in Ontario’s hospitals.