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Reported surgical quality measures not associated with lower infection rates
Date:6/24/2010

A study by investigators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine published in this week's issue of JAMA found that public hospital comparison data reported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services does not accurately correlate with a patient's risk for surgical postoperative infection. The retrospective, cohort study of more than 400,000 patients from 398 hospitals nationwide examined the relationship between reported adherence to six infection prevention Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) measures and the probability of patient postoperative infection.

"The SCIP has done an outstanding job of designing and identifying proper infection prevention measures, but there is still more work to be done," says Jonah J. Stulberg, MD, PhD, MPH, a recent graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the lead author of the study. "Our analysis shows that using a multi-measure approach to prevention is associated with a lower probability of patient infection, and that is something I think everyone can appreciate."

Due to new Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) incentives under the recently passed Health Care Reform Act, Medicare reimbursement will be tied to hospitals' adherence to SCIP measures. Researchers found that using a composite infection prevention score, one that assesses more than two measures per patient visit, was more accurate in predicting the probability of a patient developing a postoperative infection. It predicted approximately a 15 percent decreased risk of postoperative infection.

Within the current system, Medicare reports performance only on individual SCIP measures. Dr. Stulberg, who will soon begin his residency in the Department of Surgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and his co-authors recommend SCIP require multiple measures be performed and recorded at every single patient visit. They found this will result in a more accurate prediction of whether a
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Contact: Christina DeAngelis
christina.deangelis@case.edu
216-368-3635
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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