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Hospital ratings show sharp differences in safety, chance of dying

Reuters, March 27, 2014

An analysis of government data on hospital safety, including how likely patients are to die of avoidable surgical complications, shows that hospitals vary markedly on these measures and that patients are at higher risk in some nationally-known facilities than at tiny hospitals little known outside their rural communities. The safety ratings of 2,591 hospitals, released by Consumer Reports magazine on Thursday, come at a time when estimates of the number of Americans killed by hospital errors is soaring. According to the 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine that first put a spotlight on the issue, the death toll from medical mistakes in hospitals was at least 98,000 then.