Canadians can check how the rate of deaths is falling in their local hospital as a measure of improvements in patient care.

Hospital death rates decreased overall, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information's report called Hospital standardized mortality ratios, 2011–2012.

The hospital standardized mortality ratio or HSMR is calculated using both the number of deaths that occurred in a hospital or health region and the number of deaths expected.

Of 82 hospitals, only four in Ontario had death rates that were higher than what is expected nationally: 

  • Kingston General Hospital.
  • London Health Sciences Centre.
  • North Bay General Hospital.
  • Sudbury Regional Hospital.

All hospitals, including those four, have made improvements, according to the report.

Hospitals use the HSMR as a performance indicator to monitor changes over time and identify areas for improvement.

The report included all regions as well as individual  institutions that had enough data.  Of those participating hospitals outside Quebec the death rate decreased for 16 per cent.

CIHI has been reporting on the HSMR since 2004-2005. The is the first time Quebec is included.