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Keywords:

  • Quality of care;
  • risk-adjusted indicators;
  • administrative data

Objective

To evaluate whether reporting of hospital performance was associated with a change in quality indicators in Italian hospitals.

Data Sources/Study Setting

Nationwide Hospital Information System for 2006–2009.

Study Design

We performed a pre-post evaluation in Lazio (before and after disclosure of the Regional Outcome Evaluation Program P.Re.Val.E.) and a comparative evaluation versus Italian regions without comparable programs. We analyzed risk-adjusted proportions of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), hip fractures operated on within 48 hours, and cesarean deliveries.

Data Collection/Extraction Methods

Using standardized ICD-9-CM coding algorithms, we selected 381,053 acute myocardial infarction patients, 250,712 hip fractures, and 1,736,970 women who had given birth.

Principal Findings

In Lazio PCI within 48 hours changed from 22.49 to 29.43 percent following reporting of the P.Re.Val.E results (relative increase, 31 percent; p < .001). In the other regions this proportion increased from 22.48 to 27.09 percent during the same time period (relative increase, 21 percent; p < .001). Hip fractures operated on within 48 hours increased from 11.73 to 15.78 percent (relative increase, 34 percent; p < .001) in Lazio, and not in other regions (29.36 to 28.57 percent). Cesarean deliveries did not decrease in Lazio (34.57–35.30 percent), and only slightly decreased in the other regions (30.49–28.11 percent).

Conclusions

Reporting of performance data may have a positive but limited impact on quality improvement. The evaluation of quality indicators remains paramount for public accountability.