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Using AHRQ patient safety indicators to detect postdischarge adverse events in the Veterans Health Administration.

Mull HJ, Borzecki AM, Chen Q, Shin MH, Rosen AK. Using AHRQ patient safety indicators to detect postdischarge adverse events in the Veterans Health Administration. American journal of medical quality : the official journal of the American College of Medical Quality. 2014 May 1; 29(3):213-9.

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Patient safety indicators (PSIs) use inpatient administrative data to flag cases with potentially preventable adverse events (AEs) attributable to hospital care. This study explored how many AEs the PSIs identified in the 30 days post discharge. PSI software was run on Veterans Health Administration 2003-2007 administrative data for 10 recently validated PSIs. Among PSI-eligible index hospitalizations not flagged with an AE, this study evaluated how many AEs occurred within 1 to 14 and 15 to 30 days post discharge using inpatient and outpatient administrative data. Considering all PSI-eligible index hospitalizations, 11 141 postdischarge AEs were identified, compared with 40 578 inpatient-flagged AEs. More than 60% of postdischarge AEs were detected within 14 days of discharge. The majority of postdischarge AEs were decubitus ulcers and postoperative pulmonary embolisms or deep vein thromboses. Extending PSI algorithms to the postdischarge period may provide a more complete picture of hospital quality. Future work should use chart review to validate postdischarge PSI events.

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