The first hospital has a certain death rate and fewer surgical complications. The second has the same death rate but more surgical complications and a higher rate of successful rescue responses to those complications.
Atul said the counterintuitive conclusion is that the second hospital is a better choice. Patients there have a greater likelihood of survival if something does go wrong because the surgical teams are more skilled at dealing with complications.
He pointed out that two decades of studies have confirmed the merit of Silber's failure to rescue concept.
A pediatrician, Silber is a University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Professor of Health Care Management and a Perelman School of Medicine Professor of Anesthesiology & Critical Care. He's also Director of the Center for Outcomes Research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.