(HealthDay News) — Hospitals with research publications have improved mortality and patient experience, according to a study published online in Health Services Research.

David M. Shahian, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the quantity and impact of research publications among US acute care hospitals. All publications attributed to authors from a 40% random sample of Medicare-participating hospitals from Jan. 1, 2015, to Dec. 31, 2016, and their subsequent citations through July 2020 were identified.

The researchers found that 40.3% of the 1604 study hospitals had one or more publications. Significantly more publications were seen for Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH) hospitals (average, 599 compared with 11 for non-COTH teaching and 0.6 for nonteaching hospitals), and their publications were cited more frequently (average, 22.6 vs 18.2 and 12.8 citations/publication, respectively). Significant predictors of higher publication volumes included teaching intensity, hospital beds, New England or Pacific region, and not-for-profit or government ownership; an inverse association was seen for the percentage of Medicaid admissions. Hospital publications were associated with significantly lower risk-adjusted mortality rates for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and coronary artery bypass surgery; higher overall ratings for Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems; and greater patient willingness to recommend.

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“From a patient’s perspective, our findings should debunk the misconception that conducting health care research is just an ‘ivory tower’ exercise detached from ‘real’ patient care,” Shahian said in a statement.

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