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Quality measures improve outcomes more than hospital volume alone
Date:5/20/2009

they would not give aspirin to a patient at risk for hemorrhage. "We are saying in essence, it does not matter if you get an 'A' in English, and an 'A' in science, and an 'A' in history, but a 'B' in math. You need to have an 'A' in everything," he added.

The study showed that patients cared for at low volume hospitals whose aggregate quality scores were high did as well as patients at high volume centers. "Volume alone did not make as much difference as we thought," said Auerbach. The implication for payers is that they may want to think in terms of two different domains, volume and quality, to determine the return on their investment in deciding to cover the procedure in one medical center rather than another, according to the research team.

The message for low-volume surgeons is that they can have the same high quality of care with the same level of good outcomes if they have systems in place to ensure that all quality measures are adhered to every single time, said the researchers. Auerbach said that this success depends on the surgeon's team, that someone on the team is coordinating care to ensure it is reliable and consistent.

"Our results suggest that patients should make use of publicly available quality measures and are likely to benefit from seeking care at hospitals with higher quality scores," said Lindenauer.


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Contact: Kirsten Michener
kmichener@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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