Using hospital mortality data to judge quality may not be the most accurate way to measure quality.
According to Peter Pronovost and Richard Lilford in an article in the BMJ, a more reliable way to measure hospital quality would be to look at avoidable events, such as bloodstream infections.
The authors propose these suggestions to measure quality:
- Mortality rates associated with high risk procedures that are heavily dependent on technical skill, such as intrauterine transfusion and heart surgery will detect poor practice quickly.
- Non-mortality outcomes, such as rates of hospital acquired bloodstream infections, are heavily influenced by quality of care.
- Greater use of monitoring of clinical processes known to affect quality of care.