AHRQ's Quality Indicators Help Banner Health Monitor Clinical Performance

November 2005

Banner Health, one of the largest not-for-profit health care systems in the country, is using AHRQ's Inpatient Quality Indicators (IQIs) as part of its clinical quality monitoring of the facilities in its system, and to compare this performance with other facilities. Banner is primarily using the IQIs that focus on mortality.

"The information from AHRQ helps us with data ranging from AMI [acute myocardial infarction] mortality to surgical populations," says Paul Stander, MD. Stander serves as Chief Medical Officer at Banner's largest facility, Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, as well as the co-leader of the Population Health Management team.

Although Stander says that variation in clinical performance is often caused by demographic and resource factors, whenever results for specific measures fall outside the norm, staff at Banner facilities investigate the reasons why. This work is part of a larger effort around clinical quality improvement organized by the Care Management department at Banner.

Routinely, Banner's Population Health Management team, part of the Care Management department, reviews data from Banner's facilities in seven states and identifies areas where there may be opportunities for clinical process improvement. Members of the Population Health Management team then begin dialogue with staff at those facilities where improvement is needed, to provide counsel and guidance in making efforts to improve.

"We look at this data to identify specific areas that we can work on," Stander notes. "This information provides us with a resource that is widely available. Using AHRQ rankings has helped reinforce our decisions to implement many evidence-based clinical improvements and patient safety practices."

One of these clinical improvements is Banner's new process improvement team, which evaluates and improves its facilities' Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) outcomes. To assure the best possible outcomes for their CABG patients, Banner created a systems team with representatives from five centers who actually perform CABG procedures. The team meets monthly to look at various issues that can help further improve outcomes.

AHRQ's IQI software has provided Banner with several benefits, including the following:

  • The ability to have risk-adjusted data.
  • A consistent methodology that assists people throughout the organization to reach conclusions regarding potential improvement efforts.
  • A readily available, easy-to-understand tool.

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Banner Health has about 25,000 employees and 21 facilities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada, and Wyoming. Banner facilities offer care that includes hospitals, home health care, hospices, nursing registries, surgery centers, labs, and rehabilitation services.

Impact Case Study Identifier: 
AHRQ Product(s): HCUP-Inpatient Quality Indicators, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP)
Topics(s): Quality of Care
Geographic Location: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada, Wyoming
Implementer: Banner Health
Date: 11/01/2005
Page last reviewed October 2014
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