Research Study

Surgical Mortality as a Measure of Hospital Quality

With Richard Averill, MS, Richard Fuller, MS, Ron Mills, PhD

While there is increasing consensus that comparative mortality data should be included in hospital payment incentive systems, attempts to develop clinically credible and unbiased measure of mortality have proved challenging. The primary intent of mortality measurement is to provide hospitals the incentive and the information to improve mortality performance through quality improvement initiatives. To be effective for quality improvement, the measure of mortality should be limited to patients for whom a hospital is reasonably responsible for the patient outcome and thereby amenable to quality improvement efforts. A comprehensive method of measuring and comparing surgical mortality was developed for this report. 

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