Hospital mortality decreased in 2007-2012

According to a study conducted by Statistics Netherlands, mortality rates for hospital patients in the Netherlands decreased in the period 2007-2012. The study is based on a time series of total mortality in 61 hospitals, taking into account changes in the size and characteristics of patient populations. In 2013 Statistics Netherlands published an article based on this time series for the period 2005-2010 in Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, a leading Dutch medical journal.
The continuous fall in hospital mortality may be the result of improved hospital care, but it may also be caused by other factors. Mortality may decrease because relatively more terminally ill patients die outside hospitals, for example in hospices. In addition, in 2010 hospitals started to work towards a more complete registration of care intensity (additional diseases) of hospital patients. The observed decrease in mortality may thus be distorted to some extent. Further research will be necessary to determine which factors have contributed to the decrease in hospital mortality, and to what extent.
Statistics Netherlands compiled the figures at the request of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) which used them in its Zorgbalans 2014 publication .