Understanding Mortality Data

  • The term "mortality rate" refers to the number of people who died from their illness or injury at Memorial University Medical Center (MUMC).

    Because MUMC is the region’s only academic medical center and most comprehensive hospital in southeast Georgia, we typically see the sickest patients. Our Level 1 trauma center, critical care units, and neonatal intensive care nursery are equipped to treat the most critically ill people. In addition, MUMC is a regional referral center, meaning that other hospitals refer their sickest patients to our experts. This information is taken into account when calculating mortality data.

    Expected Mortality Rate
    This number represents the percentage of people who were so critically ill that they were not expected to survive. Memorial University Medical Center’s expected mortality rate is determined by a company called Premier, Inc. Premier reviews patient data from hundreds of hospitals nationwide and uses it to calculate an average expected mortality rate.

    Premier looks at a number of factors when determining expected mortality. For example, a 60-year-old man having a heart attack has a risk of dying. A 60-year-old man who is overweight and has diabetes and has a heart attack has an even greater risk of dying. Those additional health risks are taken into account when determining the expected mortality. Because Memorial University Medical Center is the region’s only trauma center and academic medical center, we typically see the most critically ill patients. Based on that fact, our expected mortality is higher than that of non-academic hospitals. See our score.

    Actual Mortality Rate
    This number shows the percentage of patients who died after receiving treatment at Memorial University Medical Center during a given time frame. It is calculated by dividing the number of deaths by the number of people who survived and were discharged from the hospital. See our score.

    Mortality Rate Index
    To calculate this number, the actual mortality rate is divided by the expected mortality rate. An index of less than 1 is good. It shows that people who were expected to die from their illness actually survived after receiving care at Memorial University Medical Center. See our score.

    Lives Saved
    To calculate this number, we subtract the number of actual deaths from the number of expected deaths. The result is the number of people who ultimately survived with our care, even though they were so critically ill that they were expected to die. See our score.