Could doing this add years to your life?

Could doing this add years to your life?

Patients who receive care from a teaching hospital are less likely to die than those who receive care from a non-teaching hospital, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health relied on Medicare data from 2012-2014 which included details for 21.5 million hospitalizations at 4,483 teaching and non-teaching hospitals.

The 30-day mortality rate – widely considered to be a benchmark in health care quality reporting – was notably lower at major teaching hospitals (8.1 percent) and minor teaching hospitals (9.2 percent) compared to non-teaching hospitals (9.6 percent). This trend stayed true for 7-day and 90-day mortality rates across the three types of hospitals.

Though the cost of receiving care at a teaching hospital may be higher, this study suggests teaching hospitals are able to deliver better and safer care than their non-teaching counterparts, the researchers concluded.

“One explanation may be related to better access to medical care in the teaching hospitals due to the availability of residents and medical students around the clock,” says Dr. James Malow, chair of internal medicine at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “One might also surmise that large teaching hospitals may have greater expertise in dealing with complicated medical conditions due to a greater concentration of specialists and medical study participation.”

While Dr. Malow cannot definitively speak to the factors causing the mortality differences, he does believe teaching hospitals play an important role in the delivery of high-quality health care.

“Our teaching hospitals are absolutely necessary to our health care system to train our medical professionals for the future and to investigate methods and treatments to assure that we are providing the highest quality of care throughout the country,” he says.

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  1. Eleanor Bennett June 30, 2017 at 10:43 am · Reply

    Really? You think with our BCBS IL insurance we have choices. With a premium of $2000 per month and high deductibles I’m having to visit the most affordable place if I can even go at all??? Not to mention the doctor limitations now that were never an issue before,

  2. I have to agree. I’ve been treated at both teaching and non-technical hospitals and the treatment received at teaching hospitals far outranks other hospitals. Not only by access to more residents but I was actually treated by professors with PhD’s in their field of medicine. One who actually created the surgical procedure.
    If you have the luck to have a teaching hospital in your area use it. Treatment and overall care is better and can save your life.

  3. This raises the question as to *why* teaching hospitals are more expensive. Why should I pay more to have people learn on me? When I go to the beauty school instead of the professional salon, I get their services at a substantial discount precisely because they realize that students who are learning their skills might not be as good as those who have been doing it for years.

  4. Teaching hospitals cost more because they have the newest and best equipment. Also they are staffed by experienced professionals. The students are always under the supervision of an experienced medical professional. These students are learning the newest information about diseases and surgical methods . They are well worth the cost if your insurance will cover it!

  5. Forty two years ago I had a severe gallbladder attack, my doctor sent me to the Osteopathic teaching hospital in Chicago. They were unable to find my gallbladder by X-ray, so they tried a new tool to help find it. I had to sign all sorts of consent forms for them to use this new machine. No other hospital in the area had one.

    The name of this marvel, Ultrasound!

  6. Could it be as simple as being better handwashers?

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About the Author

Jaimie Oh
Jaimie Oh

Jaimie Oh, health enews contributor, is regional manager of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Health Care. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has nearly a decade of experience working in publishing, strategic communications and marketing. Outside of work, Jaimie trains for marathons with the goal of running 50 races before she turns 50 years old.