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AHRQ Hospital-Level Inpatient Mortality Indicators Report

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Quality Indicators (QIs) are a set of measures that provide a perspective on hospital quality of care using patient data routinely reported to OSHPD. The Inpatient Mortality Indicators (IMIs) are a subset of the AHRQ quality indicators that measure in-hospital mortality. They include medical conditions and procedures for which mortality rates may vary significantly across institutions. Evidence suggests that high mortality may be associated with deficiencies in the quality of hospital care provided.

These indicators are provided by OSHPD for use by California consumers, healthcare purchasers, and healthcare providers. In 2006 and 2007, eight of the 15 AHRQ IMIs were produced by OSHPD for public release. Since 2008, OSHPD has expanded public reporting of AHRQ IMIs to 12 of the 15. In the 2012 AHRQ release, 9 sub-measures were added to the IMIs. OSHPD includes 5 sub-measures and retains 12 of the 15 overall measures for the report of 2013 data.

To view the Inpatient Mortality Indicators for California hospitals click here:

OSHPD views these indicators as potentially useful starting points for examining hospital quality but does not regard them as definitive measures of quality. When this information is carefully considered, with its limitations, alongside other reliable healthcare provider information, it may also be helpful to patients and purchasers such as insurance providers when making decisions about healthcare choices. Healthcare providers may also benefit from using this information in quality improvement activities.

These indicators were created using patient data submitted electronically by the hospitals. The data were not validated by OSHPD beyond the routine error-checking that occurs during the data submission process. Additional information about the methods for calculating these indicators, along with detailed technical explanations, is provided by AHRQ at their website. AHRQ also provides valuable guidance regarding the validity of these indicators and important limitations on their use as quality measures.

Risk Adjustment:

Some hospitals tend to treat higher-risk patients who have a greater chance of dying following a surgical procedure or treatment for a serious medical condition. To assure all California hospitals are assessed fairly, OSHPD uses statistical risk adjustment to account for patient differences.

All mortality indicators presented here have been risk-adjusted using the All Patient Refined Diagnosis Related Groups (APR-DRGs), a proprietary tool of the 3M Health Information Systems Corporation. See the AHRQ Web site and the OSHPD Technical Notes (2006, 2007) (2008, 2009) (2010, 2011) (2012) (2013) for more detailed information.

Return to OSHPD AHRQ overview page.

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