The Prevention Quality Indicators (PQIs) are a set of measures derived from hospital inpatient discharge data (i.e., UB data) to identify 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 severe complications. AHRQ developed the Prevention Quality Indicators module in an effort to assess potentially preventable hospitalizations and the quality of health care services in a community.
The PQIs measure outcomes of preventive care for both acute illnesses and chronic conditions, reflecting two important components of the quality of preventive care - effectiveness and timeliness. In short, the indicators identity hospital admissions in geographic areas that research suggests may have been avoided through access to high-quality outpatient care. Identifying potentially preventable hospitalizations serves as useful indicator of possible unmet community health needs; and also helps monitor how well complications from a number of common conditions are being avoided in the outpatient setting. Moreover, they are used to compare performance of local health care systems across communities.
The purpose of reporting PQIs is to provide hospitals, community leaders, and policy makers with information that would help them identify community-level health care needs in order to target resources and track the impact of programmatic and policy interventions. The reports include background information on the AHRQ’s Quality Indicator tools, disparities by county in preventable hospitalizations and definitions of the prevention quality indicators.
Publishing the PQIs reports is consistent with the Department’s effort to advance health care quality improvement through public reporting on hospital performance and the performance of local health care systems across communities.