New findings published in Medical Care show that quality measurements using clinical data are more valid than those using traditional methods
DUBLIN, Ohio, July 24, 2007 — Cardinal Health, a global provider of products and services that improve the safety and productivity of health care, today announced the development of a more accurate methodology to report the quality of care provided by a hospital or health-care providers. The study across six major diseases showed that using clinical data more accurately accounts for the severity of an illness and leads to more clinically valid quality measurements than traditional methods.
Pay for Performance (P4P) and public accountability reporting have seen increased interest across health-care providers, government agencies and insurance companies as incentive-based initiatives to help control rising health-care costs and improve quality.
Risk-adjusted mortality rates are widely accepted quality measures for the health-care industry. These quality measures are made by comparing expected mortality rates for specific disease groups to the actual mortality rates that occur. Traditionally, the models used to predict mortality are based on the analysis of billing or administrative data from the health-care provider. Physicians, health-care administrators and researchers all point to fundamental flaws in using administrative data because it does not appropriately account for severity of illness, which can disadvantage those hospitals that take in the most critically ill patients.
To address the challenge of developing a clinically valid and cost-effective reporting system, researchers from Cardinal Health, the Center for Outcomes Research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine analyzed data from more than a million admissions to create models that are clinically sound and adequately adjusted for severity of illness. The new approach maximizes the use of automated laboratory data, but is more cost-effective than relying on chart abstraction. The researchers found that laboratory data contributed more to the prediction of mortality compared to any other data source across most diseases except for stroke, where altered mental status was more important than lab results. Laboratory data proved to be up to 67 times more important in predicting mortality than administrative data alone.
“These findings are significant in light of increased interest in Pay for Performance and public reporting initiatives and highlight the urgent need for valid, clinically-based risk-adjusted approaches,” said Dwight Winstead, group president of Clinical Technologies and Services for Cardinal Health.
Cardinal Health published the final findings in the August issue of Medical Care, the official journal of the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association. All six models were found to be clinically plausible and can be cost-effective to implement for P4P and public accountability reporting. They were also presented in major medical meetings: the 8th Annual Scientific Meeting of Heart Failure Society of America, 2004 (CHF model); the 70th Annual International Scientific Assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians, 2004 (pneumonia model); the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Infectious Disease Society of America, 2004 (septicemia model); the International Stroke Conference, 2005 (ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke models); and the 54th Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology, 2005 (AMI model). The corresponding abstracts were also published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure, Chest, Stroke and the Journal of American College of Cardiology.
About Cardinal Health
Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) is an $80 billion, global company serving the health-care industry with products and services that help hospitals, physician offices and pharmacies reduce costs, improve safety, productivity and profitability, and deliver better care to patients. With a focus on making supply chains more efficient, reducing hospital-acquired infections and breaking the cycle of harmful medication errors, Cardinal Health develops market-leading technologies, including Alaris®
IV pumps, Pyxis®
automated dispensing systems, MedMined®
data mining surveillance and the CareFusion®
patient identification system. The company also manufactures medical and surgical products and is one of the largest distributors of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies worldwide. Ranked No. 19 on the Fortune 500 and No. 1 in its sector on Fortune's ranking of Most Admired firms, Cardinal Health employs more than 40,000 people on five continents. More information about the company may be found at www.cardinalhealth.com