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Potentially Preventable
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Preventable hospitalizations are an emerging focus of interest due to their costly services associated with inpatient care or the emergency room.   The Prevention Quality Indicators (PQIs) are a set of measures that can be used with hospital inpatient discharge data to identify quality of care of "ambulatory care-sensitive conditions."  These are conditions for which good outpatient care can potentially prevent the need for hospitalization or for which early intervention can prevent complications or more severe disease.

Even though these indicators are based on hospital inpatient data, they provide insight into the community health care system or services outside the hospital setting.  For example, patients with diabetes may be hospitalized for diabetic complications if their conditions are not adequately monitored or if they do not receive the patient education needed for appropriate self-management.  Patients may be hospitalized for asthma if primary care providers fail to adhere to practice guidelines or to prescribe appropriate treatments.  Patients with appendicitis who do not have ready access to surgical evaluation may experience delays in receiving needed care, which can result in a life-threatening condition--perforated appendicitis. 

For the purpose of this report, the following Prevention QualityIndicators are tracked annually:

  • Diabetes short-term complication
  • Diabetes long-term complication
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Hypertension
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Dehydration
  • Bacterial pneumonia
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Angina without procedure
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Adult asthma
  • Lower-extremity amputation among patients with diabetes
  • Low birth weight rate
  • Perforated appendix

In 2007, these 14 potentially preventable hospitalizations represented over 13,000 discharges or 10 percent of all hospitalizations statewide.

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