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Prevention Quality Indicators, a free tool developed by the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), can be used to detect inappropriate hospital admissions for diabetes and 15 other illnesses that can be treated effectively with community-based primary care.
The Prevention Quality Indicators allow users to measure and track hospital admissions using their own discharge data and will provide the information needed to improve the quality of primary care for these illnesses in a community or state.
"One way to improve the quality of America’s health care is by preventing unnecessary hospitalizations that increase health risks as well as costs. To do this, we need to be able to track the outcomes of health care services that people receive," says Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Prevention Quality Indicators represent hospital admission rates for common conditions, including bacterial pneumonia, pediatric gastroenteritis, urinary infections, congestive health failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
For example, research shows that there are 7.2 hospital admissions for every 10,000 people ages 18 to 64 for uncontrolled diabetes. The Health People 2010 goal is to reduce the rate to 5.4 per 10,000 people.
The information in the Prevention Quality Indicators can be used to flag potential problems, follow trends over time, and identify disparities across communities and regions, says John Eisenberg, MD, AHRQ director. The Prevention Quality Indicators are part of the new AHRQ Quality Indicator modules developed by the UCSF-Stanford Evidence-based Practice Center.
To download the Prevention Quality Indicators and software, go to www.ahrq.gov/data/hcup/prevqi.htm.