Chapter 3. Characteristics of Participating Hospitals

2009 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 geographic 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 nonteaching (69 percent) and non-government owned (voluntary/nonprofit or proprietary/investor owned) (78 percent).
  • Overall, the characteristics of the 622 database hospitals are fairly consistent with the distribution of U.S. hospitals registered with the American Hospital Association.

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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 (139 hospitals, or 22 percent) fall into the bed size category of 25 to 49 beds. Most of the database hospitals (421 hospitals or 68 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 smaller hospitals are more prevalent in the database, they account for fewer respondents than larger hospitals. Hospitals with fewer than 200 beds account for only 32 percent of all database respondents (61,434 respondents), whereas hospitals with 200 or more beds account for more than twice as many respondents (135,028 respondents, or 68 percent).

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Teaching Status

As shown in Table 3-2, most database hospitals were nonteaching (69 percent), which compares closely with 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 nongovernment ownership and control is shown in Table 3-3. Most database hospitals (78 percent) are non-government owned and controlled (i.e., voluntary/nonprofit 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 nongovernment hospitals.

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Geographic 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 (27 percent) followed by the South Atlantic and West North Central regions (17 percent each). The database distribution underrepresents Mid-Atlantic/New England and West South Central hospitals and overrepresents the East North Central and West North Central hospitals compared with 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 percent 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 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 April 2009
Internet Citation: Chapter 3. Characteristics of Participating Hospitals: 2009 Comparative Database Report. April 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patientsafetyculture/hospital/2009/hospdb09chap3.html