Friday, November 9, 2007

Hospital Standardized Mortality Ratio (HSMR) in Canada

The hospital standardized mortality ratio (HSMR) is an important new measure of patient safety that compares a hospital's mortality rate with the average Canadian rate. It examines observed versus expected deaths and is adjusted for various factors such as the age, sex, diagnoses and admission status of patients. The ratio provides a starting point to assess mortality rates and identify areas for improvement, which may help to reduce preventable deaths.

Developed in the United Kingdom in the mid 1990s, the HSMR has also been used in hospitals in Holland and the United States. When tracked over time, the ratio can be a motivator for change, by indicating how successful hospitals or health regions have been in reducing inpatient deaths - leading to improved patient care. CIHI has led the effort in calculating HSMRs for Canada and later in 2007, will be releasing its first public report on results for facilities in all provinces outside Quebec.

To learn more about the HSMR, see the documents below:

  1. What is HSMR?
  2. Saving More Lives
  3. Understanding the Report
  4. The HSMR Public Release
  5. Technical Notes
  6. Getting Started Resources
  7. Frequently Asked Questions
  8. New! HSMR Cases Validation Tool. To download the tool, click here. To see the instructions, click here .

To learn more about the public release:

  • Targeted information sessions (via WebEx) are being held prior to the public release. Each topic will be presented twice at the dates and times that follow:
    • For analysts:

    • For senior leadership audiences (part 1 of 2):
      • Session 1: September 20, 2007, 10:00-11:00 EST
      • Session 2: September 24, 2007, 13:00-14:00 EST
      • Objective: To give a high-level overview of HSMR and outline strategy for public release
      • Click here for presentation slides
      • To listen to a recording of the session, you can stream the presentation from the CIHI site or download the WebEx player ( and then click here (offline option).