Hospital Quality Is About More Than Mortality Rates

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<p>There has been recent debate over how to define "high quality" in the hospital setting. Much of the discussion has centered on whether the process measures from the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA)--a national collaborative effort to encourage hospitals to voluntarily collect and report performance information--are valuable.<br><br>A new <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=29302&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecommonwealthfund%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D511732%26%23doc511732">Data Brief</a> prepared for The Commonwealth Commission on a High Performance Health System by the Fund's Anthony Shih, M.D., and Stephen Schoenbaum, M.D., reviews the findings of recent published studies regarding the HQA measures. The authors say that while additional measures of clinical quality are necessary, providers should not hesitate to take action to improve their performance on the current measures.<br><br>"Although mortality rates may seem to represent 'the bottom line' in assessing the quality of hospital care, there are numerous factors, many beyond providers' control, that contribute to mortality," the authors write.</p>