Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Continues to Lead the Nation in Making Health Care Information Transparent
~Florida is the first state to post pediatric readmission and quality measures~
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) announced today that Florida is the first state to publish potentially preventable pediatric hospital readmissions and quality measures data on the nationally recognized Web site, FloridaHealthFinder.gov. The Agency also enhanced navigation throughout the Web site and updated current data to reflect information on Florida’s health care facilities through June 2009.
“Florida is a leader in making health care information transparent, and the Agency constantly aims to provide more and better access to information for citizens,” said Secretary Thomas. W. Arnold. “By providing pediatric and adult potentially preventable hospital readmission data and quality measures, Floridians have another tool to help choose the facility that is best for their family’s needs.”
Beginning this week, visitors to FloridaHealthFinder.gov will be able to compare the pediatric and adult potentially preventable hospital readmission rates for health care facilities in Florida through June 2009. Readmission rates are the percentage of patients who were readmitted to the same hospital or another acute care hospital for the same or related condition within 15 days of their initial discharge. This information is important because it reflects health care challenges that a facility may face, including:
Poor coordination between the inpatient and outpatient health care team;
Inability to ensure a patient gets the prescription drugs or treatment needed following hospitalization;
Failure to diagnose and treat an underlying health condition;
Development of a complication after discharge;
Inadequate medical care following discharge;
Insufficient support systems for the patient after discharge; or
Ineffective communication with the patient, resulting in the patient not following the doctor’s instructions after discharge.
Also new to FloridaHealthFinder.gov is the addition of pediatric quality measures. The Agency selected several of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Pediatric Quality Indicators to post on the Web site to give Floridians more information about the quality of health care provided to the pediatric population in facilities regulated by the state.
“Pediatric patients are a unique population and it is important to display information that applies to their special characteristics,” said Dr. Michael Epstein, Chair of the State Consumer Health Information and Policy Advisory Council and physician at All Children’s Hospital. “By providing health care information specific to pediatric patients, Floridians will be able to gain a better perspective on the quality of pediatric health care provided in a facility.”
The Agency has posted five new pediatric quality measures that reflect complication, infection and mortality rates. These measures include:
Accidental Puncture or Laceration, which is intended to track injuries, specifically accidental cuts occurring during procedures that may have been prevented through proper technique;
Infections Due to Medical Care, which indicates the quality of care provided to prevent infections in patients;
Pediatric Heart Surgery Volume, representing the number of patients undergoing surgery for congenital heart disease;
Pediatric Heart Surgery Mortality, representing the number of patients that had in-hospital deaths during or after surgery for congenital heart disease; and
Postoperative Sepsis, which indicates the occurrence of infections acquired during a stay at a hospital and the level of care provided to prevent infections in patients.
The Agency continues to look for ways to improve FloridaHealthFinder.gov and provide more transparent health care information to Floridians. The Agency is currently conducting a statewide pilot project focusing on hip replacements based on patient level data submitted by hospitals. This pilot will allow hospitals to review their physician volume data and provide feedback before posting on FloridaHealthFinder.gov in the next few months.
The Agency for Health Care Administration is committed to better health care for all Floridians. AHCA administers Florida’s Medicaid program, licenses and regulates more than 41,000 health care facilities and 43 health maintenance organizations, and publishes health care data and statistics. For more information, please visit AHCA.MyFlorida.com.
Contact: Tiffany Vause, Press Secretary