Chapter 3. Characteristics of Participating Hospitals

2008 Comparative Database Report

As background for understanding the survey results, this chapter presents information about the distribution of database hospitals by bed size, teaching status, ownership and control, and geographic region. Although the hospitals that voluntarily submitted data to the database do not constitute a statistically selected sample, the characteristics of these hospitals are fairly consistent with the distribution of U.S. hospitals registered with the American Hospital Association (AHA). The characteristics of database hospitals by AHA-defined categories of bed size, teaching status, ownership and control, and region are presented in the following tables.1 Database hospitals and survey respondents are described, as well as the distribution of U.S. AHA-registered hospitals included in the 2006 AHA Annual Survey of Hospitals.2

Highlights

  • Participating hospitals represent a range of bed sizes and geographic regions.
  • Most hospitals are non-teaching (74 percent) and non-government owned (voluntary/nonprofit or proprietary/investor-owned) (76 percent).
  • Overall, the characteristics of the 519 database hospitals are fairly consistent with the distribution of U.S. hospitals registered with the American Hospital Association (AHA).

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Bed Size

Table 3-1 shows the distribution of database hospitals and respondents by hospital bed size. Overall, the distribution of database hospitals by bed size is similar to the distribution of AHA-registered U.S. hospitals. Similar to the AHA-registered U.S. hospitals, the largest group of database hospitals (131 hospitals or 25 percent) fall in the bed size category of 25 to 49 beds. The majority of the database hospitals (373 hospitals or 72 percent) have fewer than 200 beds, which is similar to the percentage of AHA-registered U.S. hospitals (74 percent).

It is important to note that while there are more smaller hospitals in the database, they account for fewer respondents than larger hospitals. Hospitals with fewer than 200 beds account for only 33 percent of all database respondents (52,357 respondents), whereas hospitals with 200 or more beds account for almost twice as many respondents (107,819 respondents or 67 percent).

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Teaching Status

As shown in Table 3-2, most database hospitals were non-teaching (74 percent), which compares closely to the distribution of AHA-registered U.S. hospitals.

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Ownership and Control

The distribution of database hospitals and respondents by government versus non-government ownership and control is shown in Table 3-3. Most database hospitals (76 percent) are non-government owned and controlled (i.e., voluntary/non-profit or proprietary/investor owned). The distribution of database hospitals closely matches the distribution of AHA-registered U.S. hospitals in terms of the percentages of government and non-government hospitals.

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Region

Table 3-4 shows the distribution of database hospitals by AHA-defined geographic regions. The largest percentages of database hospitals are from the East North Central region (22 percent) followed by the West North Central region (18 percent). The database distribution under-represents Mid Atlantic/New England and West South Central hospitals, and over-represents the East North Central and West North Central hospitals compared to the distribution of AHA-registered U.S. hospitals.


1 To ensure hospital confidentiality, a rule was established requiring at least 20 hospitals to be in a particular breakout category before data would be displayed by that category. Therefore, some of the standard AHA categories have been combined. In addition, column percent totals in the tables may not sum to exactly 100% due to rounding of decimals.

2 Data for AHA-registered hospitals were obtained from the 2006 AHA Annual Survey of Hospitals Database, © 2007 Health Forum, LLC, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association. Hospitals not registered with the AHA were asked to provide information on their hospital's characteristics such as bed size, teaching status, etc.

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Current as of March 2008
Internet Citation: Chapter 3. Characteristics of Participating Hospitals: 2008 Comparative Database Report. March 2008. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patientsafetyculture/hospital/2008/chapter3.html