Clinical Indices Can Standardize and Monitor Pediatric Care: A Novel Mechanism to Improve Quality and Safety

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ObjectiveThe Cancer Care Index (CCI), a single metric that sums the number of undesirable patient events in a given time frame (either preventable harm events or missed opportunities to provide optimal care), resulted in a 42% improvement in performance. Our objective was to test the index concept in other service lines to determine whether similar performance improvement occurred.Study designCare indices were developed and introduced in 3 additional service lines: Nephrology (Chronic Kidney Disease Care Index; CKDCI), Pulmonology (Lung Transplantation Care Index; LTCI), and Otolaryngology (Tracheostomy Care Index; TCI). After reaching agreement on specific harms to be avoided and elements of optimal care that should be reliably delivered, these items were compiled into indices that were updated monthly. Reports included each element individually and the total for all elements. Baseline performance was calculated retrospectively for the previous year.ResultsSignificant improvement in performance occurred in each program following implementation of the clinical indices. The CKDCI was decreased by 63.2% (P < .001), the LTCI was decreased by 89.5% (P < .001), and the TCI was decreased by 53.0% (P < .001). Surveyed staff indicated satisfaction with use of the metric.ConclusionsClinical indices are useful for evaluating and managing the overall reliability of a program's ability to deliver optimal care, and are associated with improved clinical performance and satisfaction by service line staff when incorporated into a program's operation.

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