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Systems for Comparing Actual and Predicted Mortality Rates: Characteristics To Promote Cooperation in Improving Hospital Care

Harry P. Selker, MD, MSPH
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New England Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111. Requests for Reprints: Harry P. Selker, MD, MSPH, Center for Cardiovascular Health Services Research, New England Medical Center, 1031, 750 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111.

Copyright 2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1993;118(10):820-822. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-118-10-199305150-00010
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Mortality rates have been increasingly proposed as a measure of quality of hospital care. However, in themselves, mortality rates, whether used alone or in conjunction with severity-adjusted predicted rates, will not improve care. Only appropriate responses to mortality rates by clinicians, hospital administrators, consumers, and health care payers will improve care. For severity-adjusted mortality predictors to have their desired effect, they must have characteristics attractive to all of these groups. These characteristics are listed in this editorial.


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