AHRQ Quality Indicators™ Toolkit for Hospitals

Improving Performance on the AHRQ Quality Indicators

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Introduction

The QI Toolkit is designed to help your hospital understand the Quality Indicators (QIs) from AHRQ and use them to successfully improve quality and patient safety in your hospital. The AHRQ QIs use hospital administrative data to assess the quality of care provided, identify areas of concern in need of further investigation, and monitor progress over time. This toolkit focuses on the 18 Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) and the 28 Inpatient Quality Indicators (IQIs). More information on the QIs is available in the Fact Sheets on the IQIs ( Tool A.1a. Fact Sheet on Inpatient Quality Indicators (IQI) (PDF) [ PDF file - 66.11 KB] ) and PSIs ( Tool A.1b. Fact Sheet on Patient Safety Indicators (PSI) (PDF) [ PDF file - 41.25 KB] ).

The QI Toolkit supports hospitals that want to improve performance on the IQIs and PSIs by guiding them through the process, from the first stage of self-assessment to the final stage of ongoing monitoring. The tools are practical, easy to use, and designed to meet a variety of needs, including those of senior leaders, quality staff, and multistakeholder improvement teams. Created by the RAND Corporation and the University HealthSystem Consortium with funding from AHRQ, it is available for all hospitals to use free of charge.

A Sequence of Steps for Improvement. The toolkit offers a general guide to using improvement methods, with a particular focus on the QIs. As laid out in the following sections, the complete improvement process includes a sequence of steps in which you will set priorities and plan for performance improvements on the QIs, implement improvement strategies, and sustain improvements achieved:

  • Section A. Determining Readiness To Change.
  • Section B. Applying QIs to the Hospital Data.
  • Section C. Identifying Priorities for Quality Improvement.
  • Section D. Implementing Improvements.
  • Section E. Monitoring Progress for Sustainable Improvement.
  • Section F. Analyzing Return on Investment.
  • Section G. Using Other Resources.

Get Started with the Toolkit Roadmap. Tools are available to support work in each sequence of improvement steps (Sections A-G listed above). The Toolkit Roadmap will help you get started by identifying the tools available in the Toolkit to support your work at each step. For each tool, the Roadmap offers a brief description and additional relevant information. Go to the Toolkit Roadmap .

Audio Interview Series

This series of interviews from May 2012 will orient users to the QI Toolkit  The topics provide an overview of the toolkit and information on how to use the tools and engage stakeholders and staff in quality improvement efforts.

Webinars on AHRQ Quality Indicators Toolkit for Hospitals

  • To orient users to the QI toolkit, AHRQ held a Web seminar on February 15, 2012. Select to access the slide presentations and an audio recording.
  • To update users on the QI toolkit, AHRQ held a Web seminar on November 7, 2014. Select to access the materials. (Scroll to "Hospital Safety Score Webinar for Hospitals.")

Update of the QI Toolkit

The toolkit was originally released in the spring of 2012 after a field test, an evaluation, and revisions in response to feedback from six diverse hospitals. In 2014, it was updated and expanded to include best practices for 6 more of the PSIs and IQIs.  The 2014 update affects the following tools:

  • Tool A.1a. Fact Sheet on Inpatient Quality Indicators (IQI)
  • Tool A.1b. Fact Sheet on Patient Safety Indicators (PSI)
  • Tool B.2a. IQI and PSI Rates Generated by the AHRQ SAS Programs
  • Tool B.2b. IQI and PSI Rates Generated by the AHRQ Windows QI Software
  • Tool B.3a. Excel® Worksheets for Charts on Data, Trends, and Rates To Populate the PowerPoint® Presentation
  • Tool B.3b. PowerPoint® Presentation: The AHRQ Quality Indicators, Results, and Discussion of Data Analysis
  • Tool B.4. Documentation and Coding for Patient Safety Indicators
  • Tool C.1. Prioritization Matrix
  • Tool C.2. Prioritization Matrix Example
  • Tool D3 was removed.
  • Tool D.4. Examples of Effective PSI Improvement Strategies
  • Tool G.2. Specific Tools to Support Change

Case Studies

Page last reviewed November 2014
Internet Citation: AHRQ Quality Indicators™ Toolkit for Hospitals: Improving Performance on the AHRQ Quality Indicators. November 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/hospital/qitoolkit/index.html