The U.S. cities where hospital patients are least likely to die are Dayton, Ohio, Phoenix and Milwaukee, Healthgrades says.
Hospitals in the three cities have the lowest average risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality rates -- less than 5 percent, said Healthgrades, an online resource that helps consumers search, evaluate, compare and connect with physicians and hospitals.
The report includes the annual Healthgrades America's Best Hospitals 2013, recognizing hospitals at two levels: America's 50 Best Hospitals, the top 1 percent in the nation, evaluated over seven years and America's 100 Best Hospitals, the top 2 percent in the nation, evaluated over four years.
"The America's Best Hospitals distinction provides a measure of confidence for consumers," Evan Marks of Healthgrades said in a statement. "Each hospital's exceptional performance reflects a dedication and approach to quality which has been evidenced across the organization and has been demonstrated consistently in terms of superior clinical outcomes."
In fact, if all hospitals performed at the level of the Healthgrades America's 100 Best Hospitals -- from 2009 through 2011 -- more than 165,000 lives potentially could have been saved.
"The good news for consumers, whether or not they reside in one of the top cities, is they can still find hospitals that demonstrate superior quality so long as they do their homework before seeking care," Dr. Archelle Georgiou, a strategic adviser to Healthgrades, said.
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