The hospital standardized mortality ratio (HSMR) is an important measure to improve patient safety and quality of care in Canadian hospitals.
The HSMR adjusts for factors that affect in-hospital mortality rates, such as patient age, sex, diagnosis, length of stay, comorbidities and admission status. It then compares the actual number of deaths in a hospital with the average Canadian experience. The ratio provides a starting point to assess mortality rates and identify areas for improvement to help reduce hospital deaths.
When tracked over time, the ratio can be a motivator for change. The HSMR indicates how successful hospitals and health regions have been in reducing inpatient deaths—leading to improved patient care. CIHI has led the effort in calculating HSMRs for Canada and publishes results for eligible facilities and regions in all provinces.
We welcome your feedback and questions
- See the 2014 HSMR results in Your Health System
- In Focus: A National Look at Sepsis (Dec. 2009)
- HSMR: A New Approach for Measuring Hospital Mortality Trends in Canada (Nov. 2007)
- Technical Notes (PDF, version 5.1 with reference year 2012-2013)
- Frequently Asked Questions for Hospitals and Health Providers (PDF, version 5.1)