Variation Across Hospitals in In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Incidence among Medicare Beneficiaries

Tyler P. Rasmussen, Danielle J. Riley, Mary Vaughan Sarazin, Paul S. Chan, Saket Girotra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Importance: Although survival for in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) has improved substantially over the last 2 decades, survival rates have plateaued in recent years. A better understanding of hospital differences in IHCA incidence may provide important insights regarding best practices for prevention of IHCA. Objective: To determine the incidence of IHCA among Medicare beneficiaries, and evaluate hospital variation in incidence of IHCA. Design, Setting, and Participants: This observational cohort study analyzes 2014 to 2017 data from 170 hospitals participating in the Get With The Guidelines-Resuscitation registry, linked to Medicare files. Participants were adults aged 65 years and older. Statistical analysis was performed from January to December 2021. Exposures: Case-mix index, teaching status, and nurse-staffing. Main Outcomes and Measures: Hospital incidence of IHCA among Medicare beneficiaries was estimated as the number of IHCA patients divided by the total number of hospital admissions. Multivariable hierarchical regression models were used to calculate hospital incidence rates adjusted for differences in patient case-mix and evaluate the association of hospital variables with IHCA incidence. Results: Among a total of 4.5 million admissions at 170 hospitals, 38630 patients experienced an IHCA during 2014 to 2017. Among the 38630 patients with IHCAs, 7571 (19.6%) were non-Hispanic Black, 26715 (69.2%) were non-Hispanic White, and 16732 (43.3%) were female; the mean (SD) age at admission was 76.3 (7.8) years. The median risk-adjusted IHCA incidence was 8.5 per 1000 admissions (95% CI, 8.2-9.0 per 1000 admissions). After adjusting for differences in case-mix index, IHCA incidence varied markedly across hospitals ranging from 2.4 per 1000 admissions to 25.5 per 1000 admissions (IQR, 6.6-11.4; median odds ratio, 1.51 [95% CI, 1.44-1.58]). Among hospital variables, a higher case-mix index, higher nurse staffing, and teaching status were associated with a lower hospital incidence of IHCA. Conclusions and Relevance: This cohort study found that the incidence of IHCA varies markedly across hospitals, and hospitals with higher nurse staffing and teaching status had lower IHCA incidence rates. Future studies are needed to better understand processes of care at hospitals with exceptionally low IHCA incidence to identify best practices for cardiac arrest prevention..

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJAMA Network Open
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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