The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has developed An array

Of health care decision making and research tools that can be used by program managers, researchers, and others at the Federal, State, and local levels.

The Quality Indicators (QIs) are measures of health care quality that make use of readily available hospital inpatient administrative data. The current AHRQ QI modules expand HCUP QIs. The QIs can be used to highlight potential quality concerns, identify areas that need further study and investigation, and track changes over time.

The current AHRQ QI modules represent various aspects of quality:

  • Prevention Quality Indicators identify hospital admissions in geographic areas that evidence suggests may have been avoided through access to high-quality outpatient care. (first released November 2000, last updated September 2010)
  • Inpatient Quality Indicators reflect the quality of care inside hospitals, as well as across geographic areas, including inpatient mortality for medical conditions and surgical procedures. (first released May 2002, last updated September 2010)
  • Patient Safety Indicators reflect the quality of care inside hospitals, as well as geographic areas, to focus on potentially avoidable complications and iatrogenic events. (first released March 2003, last updated September 2010)
  • Pediatric Quality Indicators use indicators from the other three modules with adaptations for use among children and neonates to reflect the quality of care inside hospitals, as well as geographic areas, and identify potentially avoidable hospitalizations. (first released April 2006, last updated September 2010)

The AHRQ QIs are used in free software distributed by AHRQ. The software can be used to help hospitals identify the quality of care events that might need further study. The software programs can be applied to any hospital inpatient administrative data.

These data are readily available and relatively inexpensive to use.

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