Tools for Quality Measurement and Quality Measurement: HCUP

Tools for Quality Measurement.

Tools for Quality Measurement


What are HCUP QIs?
Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Quality Indicators (HCUP QIs) comprise a set of 33 clinical performance measures that inform hospitals' self-assessments of inpatient quality of care as well as national, State and community assessments of access to primary care. Currently there are three pediatric HCUP QIs: low birthweight, very low birthweight, and pediatric asthma.

What types of care do HCUP QIs assess?
HCUP QIs span three dimensions of care:
  • Potentially avoidable adverse hospital outcomes.
  • Potentially inappropriate utilization of hospital procedures.
  • Potentially avoidable hospital admissions.

How can HCUP QIs be used for children's health assessment?

The HCUP QIs provide initial feedback about clinical areas appropriate for further, more in-depth analysis. A group interested in children's health can use HCUP's pediatric QIs to provide information about the adequacy of pediatric primary care in a particular community. In particular, HCUP's pediatric QIs can alert a community to the potential to improve its delivery of pediatric primary care.

HCUP QIs are currently under revision by the Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC). The EPC is conducting a literature review, interviewing key researchers and users of quality/performance measures, and identifying and testing new indicators identified in their search. There is special attention being paid to identifying additional quality indicators for pediatric hospitalizations.


How do you use HCUP QIs for quality and access assessment?

Hospitals and other organizations may use the HCUP QIs in quality and access assessment without collecting new data by following these steps:

Step 1. Identify the performance measure(s) of particular interest from the list of 33 HCUP QIs.
Step 2. Determine what hospital(s) will be included in the assessment.
Step 3. Acquire the relevant hospital discharge data from individual hospitals, State association or data organization, or State agency that makes discharge data available.
Step 4. Calculate the HCUP QI rates, using the HCUP QI software and hospital discharge data of interest.
Step 5. Use the calculated rates as a first step in tracking hospital outcomes and primary care access.
Step 6. For the HCUP QI rates that suggest potential for improvement, develop a plan to study the clinical outcomes and associated procedures in more depth.

How do I get HCUP QIs data?

Further information on HCUP tools and the most recently released Nationwide Inpatient Sample of the HCUP database is available on Healthcare Cost & Utilization Project (HCUP) directory. Questions on the HCUP QIs should be directed to:

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Healthcare Cost & Utilization Project (HCUP)
540 Gaither Road, Suite 5000
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: 866-290-HCUP (4287) toll-free
E-mail address: KCarper@ahrq.gov

Software and definitions of QIs and the outcomes of interest and populations at risk can be downloaded from AHRQ Quality Indicators.


Are there any additional references?

Ball J, Elixhauser A, Johantgen M, et. al. Outcome, Utilization, and Access Measures for Quality Improvement. HCUP Quality Indicators: Methods Version 1.1. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research Rockville, MD. 1998 HCUP Research Note Series, AHCPR Pub. No. 98-0035.

Ball J, Elixhauser A, Johantgen M, Harris DR, et. al. Outcome, Utilization, and Access Measures for Quality Improvement. HCUP Quality Indicators: Software User's Guide, Version 1.1. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research Rockville, MD. 1998 HCUP Research Note Series, AHCPR Pub. No. 98-0036.

Johantgen M, Elixhauser A, Ball J, et. al. Quality indicators using hospital discharge data: State and national applications.The Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement 1998, February; 24(2): 88-105.

Page last reviewed February 2000
Internet Citation: Tools for Quality Measurement and Quality Measurement: HCUP. February 2000. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/quality-resources/tools/hcupqiim/index.html