Public Reporting of Quality Data for Stroke: Is It Measuring Quality?

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Abstract

Background and Purpose—

Public reporting of quality data is becoming more common and increasingly used to improve choices of patients, providers, and payers. We reviewed the scope and content of stroke data being reported to the public and how well it captures the quality of stroke care.

Methods—

We performed a cross-sectional survey of all report cards within the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Report Card Compendium. Stroke quality data were categorized into one of 5 groups: structure, process, outcomes, utilization, and finances. We also determined the congruence of mortality ratings of New York hospitals provided by 2 different report cards.

Results—

Of 221 available report cards, 19 (9%) reported quality information regarding stroke and 17 specifically addressed the quality of hospital-based stroke care. The most frequent data reported were utilization measures (n=15 report cards) and outcome measures (n=14 report cards). Data regarding finances (n=4), structure of care (n=2), and process of care (n=1) were reported infrequently. Ratings were incongruent in 61 of the 157 hospitals (39%) with the same hospital being rated below average on one report care and average on another in 44 hospitals.

Conclusions—

Publicly reported quality data pertaining to patients with stroke are incomplete, confusing, and inaccurate. Without further improvements and a better understanding of the needs and limitations of the many stakeholders, targeted transparency policies for stroke care may lead to worse quality and large economic losses.

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