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The Ottawa Hospital performs well in national quality scorecard

September 18, 2014 — The Ottawa Hospital welcomes the public release of the 2014 edition of This website, maintained by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, includes detailed information about the performance of Canadian acute-care hospitals. The data allow our hospital to review our practices and ensure patients get even better care over time.

On balance, The Ottawa Hospital performs well when compared with more than 50 Canadian teaching hospitals.

According to the 14 indicators that have been included for the first time in this year’s report, our hospital provides top-notch surgical care when compared with other teaching hospitals. For example, patients needing urgent surgery for hip fractures get it more quickly, resulting in a faster, smoother recovery. Surgical patients also have better outcomes. The lower mortality and readmission rates are clear signs that even the most critically ill or injured patients receive safer care at our hospital.

Indeed, our hospital has a lower rate of unexpected deaths (87 per cent) compared with that of our Canadian peers (89 per cent). And our performance in this area continues to improve. The most up-to-date figures, not captured in this report, show our hospital’s rate of unexpected deaths now stands at 78 per cent, one of the best in the country. That means 400 more patients annually are being rescued from critical illnesses or injuries from which they would otherwise be expected to die.

The safe care of mothers and newborns is another area where our hospital excels. Even though The Ottawa Hospital is the only one in the Champlain health region to treat women facing complex, high-risk pregnancies, the outcomes of our patients — fewer obstetrical traumas and lower readmission rates — are better than those at other teaching hospitals. That said, our hospital has room for improvement in reducing the rate of Caesarean sections for women who have no medical reason for needing them.

We are aware of other areas that require improvement and have already used the data from this report to achieve better quality and efficiency. For example, we have introduced a comprehensive program to reduce surgical site infections, a leading cause of complications that can result in sepsis.

We are also focused on reducing the number of unnecessary return visits after patients leave our hospital. On discharge, our sickest patients now receive a written plan with instructions about their care, have a follow-up appointment booked with their family doctor, and receive a phone call within seven days from a hospital nurse, who asks about their recovery. This year, we will expand this program to include all medical and surgical patients, not just the sickest ones. We will also introduce transition navigators who help patients with complex medical needs find the follow-up services they need as they move from one health-care provider to another.

Finally, our higher-than-average cost per hospital stay suggests there are ongoing opportunities to find efficiencies. In certain clinical services, we have higher staffing levels than other teaching hospitals of similar size. The higher labour costs create budget pressures that have prompted our hospital to redesign many of our clinical programs to improve productivity and efficiency.

Below is a summary of the hospital’s performance on the 14 indicators that have been included for the first time in this year’s report.

Performance indicator The Ottawa Hospital’s 2012-13 adjusted rate Average adjusted rate for all Canadian teaching hospitals
In-hospital sepsis 5.7% 5.3%
Hospital deaths following major surgery 1.6% 1.8%
Hospital deaths 87% 89%
All patients readmitted to hospital 9.1% 9.0%
Medical patients readmitted to hospital 13.8% 13.4%
Obstetric patients readmitted to hospital 1.8% 2.4%
Patients 19 and younger readmitted to hospital 9.3% 6.9%
Surgical patients readmitted to hospital 7.0% 7.0%
Obstetric trauma (with instrument) 18.4% 20.3%
Low-risk Caesarean section 17.0% 13.6%
Hip fracture surgery wait times (percentage of cases performed within target) 89.5% 81.8%
Emergency wait time in hours for physician assessment 3.63 3.45
Administrative expense as percentage of total expenses 4.5% 4.5%
Cost of a standard hospital stay $6,155 $6,030

For the complete report, go to

Media Contact:
Hazel Harding
Communications Advisor
The Ottawa Hospital
Tel.: 613-737-8460