Challenges in assessing hospital-level stroke mortality as a quality measure: comparison of ischemic, intracerebral hemorrhage, and total stroke mortality rates.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Public reporting efforts currently profile hospitals based on overall stroke mortality rates, yet the "mix" of hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke cases may impact this rate. METHODS: Using the 2005 to 2006 New York state data, we examined the degree to which hospital stroke mortality rankings varied regarding ischemic versus hemorrhagic versus total stroke. Observed/expected ratio was calculated using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Inpatient Quality Indicator software. The observed/expected ratio and outlier status based on stroke types across hospitals were examined using Pearson correlation coefficients (r) and weighted κ. RESULTS: Overall 30-day stroke mortality rates were 15.2% and varied from 11.3% for ischemic stroke and 37.3% for intracerebral hemorrhage. Hospital risk-adjusted ischemic stroke observed/expected ratio was weakly correlated with its own intracerebral hemorrhage observed/expected ratio (r=0.38). When examining hospital performance group (mortality better, worse, or no different than average), disagreement was observed in 35 of 81 hospitals (κ=0.23). Total stroke mortality observed/expected ratio and rankings were correlated with intracerebral hemorrhage (r=0.61 and κ=0.36) and ischemic stroke (r=0.94 and κ=0.71), but many hospitals still switched classification depending on mortality metrics. However, hospitals treating a higher percent of hemorrhagic stroke did not have a statistically significant higher total stroke mortality rate relative to those treating fewer hemorrhagic strokes. CONCLUSIONS: Hospital stroke mortality ratings varied considerably depending on whether ischemic, hemorrhagic, or total stroke mortality rates were used. Public reporting of stroke mortality measures should consider providing risk-adjusted outcome on separate stroke types.
Xian, Y; Holloway, RG; Pan, W; Peterson, ED
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