Ranking hospitals based on preventable hospital death rates: a systematic review with implications for both direct measurement and indirect measurement through standardized mortality rates.
Approach to Improving Safety
Setting of Care
Measuring patient safety remains an ongoing challenge. This systematic review examined whether preventable death rates could be used as a measure of hospital quality. Researchers reviewed 23 studies and found that estimates of preventable in-hospital death are consistently low. Ascertainment of preventability was not consistent across multiple clinician-reviewers, and the authors estimate that cases would need review by eight or more clinicians to achieve the precision required. The authors conclude that preventable death rates would not be a valid or reliable measure of patient safety. A past PSNet interview discussed the development of hospital standardized mortality ratios and their role in monitoring performance.