Symbols representing risk-adjusted mortality ratings are displayed in the report. These symbols reflect a comparison of a hospital's actual mortality rate and its expected mortality rate. A dark circle means that the hospital's actual mortality rate was significantly higher, statistically speaking, than the rate expected or predicted by PHC4's mathematical formula. A circle with a dot inside means that the difference between the two figures was insignificant - the hospital performed as expected. An open circle means that the actual mortality rate was significantly lower, statistically, than the expected rate. Numbers related to these ratings are posted on PHC4's Internet site at www.phc4.org, or are available upon request from the PHC4 office.

The risk-adjusted average length of stay reflects the number of days spent in the hospital by patients that completed a full course of treatment. These data are adjusted to take important health risk factors into account.

The number of cases represent separate hospital admissions, not individual patients. A patient readmitted several times would be included each time in the number of cases. Hospitals that had fewer than five cases evaluated for risk-adjusted mortality were not rated; such low volume cannot be considered meaningful and, as such, the outcome data are excluded. Not Rated appears in the table next to these hospitals. The hospital names have been shortened in many cases for formatting purposes. Finally, hospital names may be different today than in 1998 due to mergers and name changes. A list of changes is included in the back of the report.