Climate Classification is an Important Factor in Assessing Quality-of-Care Across Hospitals

Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 10;7(1):4948. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-04708-3.


Climate is a known modulator of disease, but its impact on hospital performance metrics remains unstudied. We assess the relationship between Köppen-Geiger climate classification and hospital performance metrics, specifically 30-day mortality, as reported in Hospital Compare, and collected for the period July 2013 through June 2014 (7/1/2013-06/30/2014). A hospital-level multivariate linear regression analysis was performed while controlling for known socioeconomic factors to explore the relationship between all-cause mortality and climate. Hospital performance scores were obtained from 4,524 hospitals belonging to 15 distinct Köppen-Geiger climates and 2,373 unique counties. Model results revealed that hospital performance metrics for mortality showed significant climate dependence (p < 0.001) after adjusting for socioeconomic factors. Climate is a significant factor in evaluating hospital 30-day mortality rates. These results demonstrate that climate classification is an important factor when comparing hospital performance across the United States.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Climate*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Geography
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Hospitals*
  • Humans
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology