A nationwide hospital performance watchdog group says Missouri hospitals are doing well in some areas, but need improvement in others. Healthgrades reports Missouri hospitals are doing well when it comes to saving lives in stroke victims, gallbladder surgery, back and neck surgery, and in patients with respiratory failure, or sepsis. However, Doctor Arquelle Georgiou says the findings show Missouri is lagging in the area of heart failure, angioplasty and valve repair.

Doctor Arquelle Georgiou says the study takes 28 different illnesses and injuries into consideration, which makes it easy for consumers to research doctors and hospitals and make an informed decision.

Georgiou says Arizona, California, Illinois and Ohio scored the best marks for hospital care … those in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Nevada, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., got the lowest grades.

The report says patients have a 55 percent lower risk of dying when treated in the best hospitals and 42 percent lower risk of experiencing a complication, the report says. Healthgrades lists state-by-state findings on its website — www.healthgrades.com/find-a-hospital.

“People need to know how to make informed decisions,” says Roger Holstein, Healthgrades CEO. “This is the first time we’ve been able to show linkage between a doctor and hospital. It’s particularly important if you’re going to have a surgery. A person can make the best choice by discussing options with his doctor.”

Authors of the study say the numbers are worth paying attention to. Evan Marks, a lead author, said, “For instance, in Alabama you have a 42 percent higher risk of dying from a heart attack in a hospital than in Arizona.”

The study says Missouri, as a whole, performed statistically better in risk-adjusted mortality than the U.S. average in stroke (5 percent versus 5.3 percent), respiratory failure (14.7 percent versus 16.4 percent), and sepsis (16 percent versus 17.3 percent).

One the other end of the spectrum, the study shows Missouri performed worse in heart failure (3.4 percent versus 3.2 percent), coronary interventional procedures (andioplasty / stent) (2.5 percent verus 2.2 percent), and valve repiar / replacement surgery (6 percent versus 5.1 percent).

Healthgrades says Missouri also did better in gallbladder surgery and back and neck surgery. The study points out that hospitals in Missouri did not fare as well in hip replacement.