In case of emergency: The cities you'd rather be in
If you need emergency care, Cincinnati may be the place to be, according to a study by Healthgrades, which identified the top 10 cities for emergency medicine.

Patients treated at top hospitals for emergency medicine have death rates as much as 40 percent lower death than those treated elsewhere, according to the study, “HealthGrades Emergency Medicine in American Hospitals," which found large differences in the risk-adjusted mortality rates for patients admitted through the emergency department.

The findings are based on an analysis of more than 7 million Medicare patient records from 2007 to 2009, both by hospital and by market area. The Denver-based healthcare information firm's study focused on 12 of the most common and life-threatening medical emergencies among that patient population, including heart attack, stroke, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

On average, for the 12 conditions studied, the percentage of cases admitted through the emergency department increased 2.64 percent from 2007 to 2009, the report found.

The HealthGrades study was limited to cases admitted to the hospital from the emergency room for further medical treatment, representing the full continuum of a patient's care. The study identified the following top 10 cities for emergency medicine, based on overall mortality rate for patients admitted through the emergency department:

  1. Cincinnati
  2. Phoenix
  3. Milwaukee
  4. Dayton, Ohio
  5. Cleveland
  6. West Palm Beach, Fla.
  7. Tucson, Ariz.
  8. Baltimore
  9. Houston
  10. Detroit
Providence, R.I., Las Vegas, Miami and New York City had the highest percentage of admission through the emergency department (93 percent, 91.6 percent, 91.1 percent and 90.8 percent, respectively); whereas, Lincoln, Neb., Sioux Falls, S.D., Wichita, Kan., and Omaha, Neb., had the lowest percentage of admissions through the emergency department (48 percent, 53.7 percent, 54.8 percent and 62.3 percent, respectively) for the 12 conditions studied.