Patient Safety and Quality Improvement
Despite important progress in measuring the safety of health care delivery in a variety of health care settings, clinicians, managers and policymakers still lack a comprehensive set of measures to benchmark across institutions or regions, and to track whether safety is improving over time. To a large extent, this shortcoming is driven by a lack of outcome measures deemed valid and important by clinicians and by the burden of manually abstracting clinical data from the medical record. Our research has the principal goal of developing a set of formal intensive care unit (ICU) outcome measures to assess and track the safety of health care at the institutional and regional levels and to inform future comparative effectiveness research in ICUs. We will also design these measures to take advantage of the increasing use of electronic medical records in the ICU, such that reliable data may be collected in a timely, automated manner in conjunction with accepted patient-specific indices.
Thus, the final product of our work will be 5 ICU safety outcome indicators, with detailed specifications, that could be used to assess ICU quality among various institutions and provide a benchmark to measure effects of policy changes and interventions.