Chapter 3. Characteristics of Participating Hospitals

2010 User Comparative Database

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 non-teaching (68 percent) and non-government owned (voluntary/nonprofit or proprietary/investor owned) (81 percent).
  • Overall, the characteristics of the 885 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. The largest group of database hospitals (21 percent) falls into the bed size category of 100 to 199 beds. Most of the database hospitals (64 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 a little over 30 percent of all database respondents (103,976 respondents), whereas hospitals with 200 or more beds account for more than twice as many respondents (234,631 respondents, or 69 percent). 

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Teaching Status

As shown in Table 3-2, most database hospitals were non-teaching (68 percent), which is similar to the distribution of AHA-registered U.S. hospitals. 

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Ownership and Control

As shown in Table 3-3, most database hospitals were nongovernment owned (81 percent), which is similar to the distribution of AHA-registered U.S. 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 (23 percent), followed by the South Atlantic (15 percent) and West North Central regions (14 percent). The database distribution underrepresents Mid-Atlantic/New England and West South Central hospitals and overrepresents East 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 for that category. Therefore, some of the standard AHA categories have been combined. 

2 Data for AHA-registered hospitals were obtained from the 2004 AHA Annual Survey of Hospitals Database or 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 and teaching status.

Note: States are categorized into AHA-defined regions as follows:

Mid-Atlantic/New England: NY, NJ, PA, CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT West North Central: IA, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, SD
South Atlantic: DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV West South Central: AR, LA, OK, TX
East North Central: IN, IL, MI, OH, WI Mountain: AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY
East South Central: AL, KY, MS, TN Pacific: AK, CA, HI, OR, WA

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Current as of March 2010
Internet Citation: Chapter 3. Characteristics of Participating Hospitals: 2010 User Comparative Database. March 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patientsafetyculture/hospital/2010/hospdb10ch3.html