Last year, 64 more people died than expected at Abbotsford Regional Hospital

ARH has highest mortality rate among large hospitals in British Columbia

Abbotsford Regional Hospital’s high mortality rate last year translated into approximately 64 extra patient deaths, a doctor with the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) has confirmed.

Last week, The News reported that ARH had a hospital standardized mortality rate (HSMR) of 116, nearly 20 per cent higher than the national average.

The figure takes into account Canada-wide death rates for dozens of different illnesses, and ARH’s HSMR was the highest of any large hospital in British Columbia.

In 2018/19, 401 patients would have been expected to die at ARH. But the hospital’s mortality figure translates to five dozen additional patient deaths at ARH. (The figure does not take into account assisted death or those who die in hospital while in palliative care.)

RELATED: High death rate at Abbotsford Regional Hospital

ARH has seen higher-than-expected numbers of deaths for years.

The mortality rate decreased substantially between 2014/15 and 2017/18, but never dipped below the national or provincial averages, which have also been dropping.

“It would appear that things were headed in the right direction until recently, when things changed, so it’s a good opportunity to ask questions,” CIHI’s Dr. Joseph Emmanuel Amuah told The News this week.

Heart failure, strokes and sepsis are the three most common causes of hospital deaths across Canada.

Amuah noted that the HSMR is a starting point, and that officials should look at a broad spectrum of measures.

The mortality rate is one of 12 different measures that CIHI uses to provide a snapshot of how various Canadian hospitals compare to one another.

Of those 12, ARH performs at about the nationwide average on eight measures, and below average on four.

Along with HSMR, ARH performs poorly on the rate of low-risk Caesarean sections, the number of patients re-admitted to hospital and, most dramatically, the time admitted patients spend in the emergency room. The last measure is nearly twice the Canadian average.

Fraser Health told The News last week that it was hoping to improve the mortality rate and cited a range of initiatives, including “enhancing hand washing, mobility, mouth care and reducing the number of days a person is on a ventilator, which can have an impact on hospital-acquired infections.”

The hospital’s sepsis rate is in line with Canadian averages, and C. difficile, MSRA and hand-hygiene rates meet targets, Fraser Health says.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
tolsen@abbynews.com


@ty_olsen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

John Horgan meets with candidates Pam Alexis and Preet Rai and local citizens in Abbotsford on Wednesday afternoon. (Submitted)
NDP Leader John Hordan campaigns in Abbotsford with local candidates

Horgan meets with hopefuls Pam Alexis and Preet Rai on Wednesday afternoon

fdf
Massive new six-building complex planned for development in Mission

Complex would bring 289 residential units, 11 commercial retail units and four new office spaces

The website Chigoby is among eight scam online retailers that have been identified by the Better Business Bureau. The site was fraudulently using an Abbotsford residential address, but has since switched to one in Poland.
Eight scam online-shopping websites fraudulently use Abbotsford address

Better Business Bureau says victims lost hundreds for non-existent or poor-quality products

Last year, the Mission Christmas Bureau celebrated its office opening with an open house. Covid-19 has forced the organization to switch to online registrations this year. / Kevin Mills File Photo
Registration for this year’s Mission Christmas Bureau will be completed online

Bureau gearing up to make Christmas possible for hundreds of local families and children in need

Barry Shantz in 2015 in front of a homeless camp at Gladys Avenue and Cyril Street. Abbotsford News file photo.
RCMP officers cleared in killing of Abbotsford homeless advocate

Barry Shantz was shot following a mental health crisis at his home on on Jan. 13, 2020,

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

In this file photo, snow is seen falling along the Coquihalla Highway. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Weather statement issued for Coquihalla, Hwy 3, as arctic front approaches

The early season snowfall expected to hit Fraser Valley, Friday, Oct. 23

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

The Surrey Eagles are currently seeking billet families for its players in advance of the 2020-‘21 BC Hockey League season. (Garrett James photo)
BCHL team in ‘desperate’ need of billet families for upcoming hockey season

COVID-19 pandemic has made finding homes for players difficult: billet co-ordinator

John Horgan brought the NDP campaign to Langley on Wednesday, Oct. 21, just three days before the B.C. vote (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Horgan brings NDP campaign to Langley

Predicts gains, says people are looking at the party ‘differently’ after three years

Most Read