Pennsylvania Hospitals Use AHRQ's Quality Indicators for Improvement Activities
The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) is using the AHRQ Quality Indicators (QIs) as a part of its quality improvement activities.
Beginning in August 2005, HAP provided its 180-member acute care general hospitals with county-specific Prevention Quality Indicator (PQI) data in addition to hospital-specific Inpatient Quality Indicator (IQI) and Patient Safety Indicator (PSI) data. For the quality and patient safety indicators, HAP also provided peer group hospital comparisons in both tabular and bar chart formats. Peer groups include urban/rural, teaching status, bed size, and state region.
The PQIs are area-level indicators that identify ambulatory care sensitive conditions. These are conditions for which good outpatient care can potentially prevent the need for hospitalization, or for which early intervention can prevent complications or more severe disease. The IQI and PSI reports compare hospital performance in 2003 with that in 2002 and compare risk-adjusted hospital rates with state and substate regional data.
The QI reports were intended to support individual hospitals' internal quality improvement and patient safety initiatives. The reports also suggest ways in which hospitals and health systems can use existing data sources to enhance their assessment of hospital quality and patient safety.
In its preparation of reports related to the AHRQ QIs, HAP utilized data from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4), an independent state agency. Pennsylvania hospitals are mandated to report inpatient hospital discharge and ambulatory/outpatient procedure records to PHC4 on a quarterly basis. PHC4 then reports on these data publicly. Thus, Pennsylvania hospitals are accustomed to having data available in the public domain.
HAP is currently in the process of producing updated reports for CY 2004, with three-year trend data. It is also working to make updated information available to member hospitals on a timely basis.