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HealthGrades lists top 10 cities for emergency medical care

HealthGrades, an online healthcare quality rating and services company, has identified the top 10 cities for emergency medical care, based on a study of 7 million Medicare patient records from 2007 to 2009.

The study focused on 12 common and life-threatening medical emergencies among that patient population:

  • Bowel obstruction;
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
  • Diabetic acidosis and coma;
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding;
  • Heart attack;
  • Heart failure;
  • Pancreatitis;
  • Pneumonia;
  • Pulmonary embolism;
  • Respiratory failure;
  • Sepsis; and
  • Stroke.

According to the report, the best-performing hospitals have combined rates of mortality low enough to place them among the top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation for emergency medicine. From this analysis, HealthGrades identified 268 hospitals with the lowest risk-adjusted mortality and designated these hospitals as recipients of the Emergency Medicine Excellence Award.

"This Emergency Medicine Excellence Award is intended as a proxy for the effectiveness of a hospital's multi-disciplinary teamwork and its ability to diagnose, triage and provide timely care to their patients admitted through the emergency department," the report said.

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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:

  • Cincinnati;
  • Phoenix, Ariz.;
  • Milwaukee, Wis.,
  • Dayton, Ohio;
  • Cleveland;
  • West Palm Beach, Fla.;
  • Tucson, Ariz.;
  • Baltimore, Md.;
  • Houston; and
  • Detroit, Mich.

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 percent 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 percent from 2007 to 2009.
  • Providence, R.I., Las Vegas, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and New York City had the highest percentage of admission through the emergency department (93.05 percent, 91.65 percent, 91.12 percent and 90.78 percent, respectively), whereas Lincoln, Neb., Sioux Falls, S.D., Wichita, Kan., and Omaha, Neb., had the lowest percentage of admissions through the emergency department (48.06 percent, 53.72 percent, 54.84 percent and 62.32 percent, respectively) for the 12 conditions studied.

To see a list of the 268 hospitals that recipients of the Emergency Medicine Excellence Award, visit