AHRQ Quality Indicators
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Quality Indicators are standardized, evidence-based measures of health care quality that can be used with readily available hospital inpatient administrative data to measure and track clinical performance and outcomes. The Indicators highlight potential quality improvement areas, track changes over time and identify areas for further study.
Hospital-Level AHRQ Quality Indicators for California
Hospital Inpatient Mortality Indicators for California
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Quality Indicators (QIs) are a set of measures that provide a perspective on hospital quality of care using patient data routinely reported to HCAI. The Inpatient Mortality Indicators (IMIs) are a subset of the AHRQ quality indicators that measure in-hospital mortality. They include medical conditions and procedures for which mortality rates may vary significantly across institutions. Evidence suggests that high mortality may be associated with deficiencies in the quality of hospital care provided.
These indicators are provided by HCAI for use by California consumers, healthcare purchasers, and healthcare providers. HCAI currently reports 14 IMI measures, including 3 sub-measures.
For reports from previous years, please use this link: Inpatient Mortality Indicators Archive.
Hospital Utilization Indicators for California
Utilization refers to the percent of times that a medical treatment is done using a particular type of procedure. These indicators are for procedures where evidence shows there is under-use or over-use, along with large variation in rates across hospitals. That is, procedures for some patients may be over-used (e.g., Cesarean section for child birth) and others may not be used enough (e.g., vaginal birth after previously having a baby by Cesarean section), given current medical care standards. A hospital with very high or very low utilization rates relative to other hospitals may be a reason for concern, though certain hospital characteristics (e.g., being a referral center where other hospitals send complex cases) may help explain extreme rates. These utilization rates represent the number of patients who are treated using a specific type of procedure per 100 patients admitted for the more general category of treatment.
Hospital Volume Indicators for California
Volume means the number of medical procedures of a given type that are done within one year. AHRQ has retired these indicators and HCAI will no longer produce them. Please view 2005-2017 Volume reports at Number of Selected Inpatient Medical Procedures in California Hospitals.
Hospital Postoperative Sepsis Indicator for California
The Postoperative Sepsis Indicator is part of the Patient Safety Indicators that were developed by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Evidence suggests that postoperative sepsis, as one of the common in-hospital complications and adverse events, may be associated with deficiencies in the quality of care provided. The current results report hospital level risk-adjusted rates and performance ratings for postoperative sepsis.
Area-Level (Statewide, County) AHRQ Quality Indicators for California
Prevention Quality Indicators (PQI) for California (Statewide, County)
Prevention Quality Indicators (PQIs) identify hospital admissions (age 18 and over) that evidence suggests may have been avoided through access to high-quality outpatient care. The PQIs measure preventable hospitalizations for “ambulatory care-sensitive conditions”, conditions for which hospital admission could be prevented by interventions in primary care. They assess the quality of the healthcare system as a whole, especially ambulatory care, in preventing hospitalizations due to potentially-avoidable medical complications.
- 2005-2020 PQI Data (2005-2015 (v5.0), 2016-20 (v2021)): CSV • Data Dictionary
- 2020 PQI Data (v2021): PDF • ReadMe
- 2019 PQI Data (v2021): PDF • ReadMe
- 2018 PQI Data (v2021): PDF • ReadMe
- 2017 PQI Data (v2021): PDF • ReadMe
- 2016 PQI Data (v2021): PDF • ReadMe
- 2015-Q1-Q3 PQI Data (v5.0): PDF • ReadMe
- 2005-2014 PQI Data (v5.0): PDF • ReadMe
Area-Level (Statewide, County) hospitalization rates are provided for the following PQI measures:
- PQI #1 Diabetes Short-term Complications
- PQI #2 Perforated Appendix (ruptured appendix) (Retired, effective 2016)
- PQI #3 Diabetes Long-term Complications
- PQI #5 Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) (chronic bronchitis or emphysema) or Asthma in Older Adults (ages 40 and over)
- PQI #7 Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- PQI #8 Heart Failure
- PQI #10 Dehydration (Retired, effective 2016)
- PQI #11 Community-Acquired Pneumonia
- PQI #12 Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
- PQI #13 Angina Without Procedure (chest pain) (Retired, effective 2016)
- PQI #14 Uncontrolled Diabetes
- PQI #15 Asthma in Younger Adults (ages 18-39)
- PQI #16 Lower-Extremity Amputation among Patients with Diabetes (removal of leg or foot due to diabetes complications)
- PQI #90 Prevention Quality Overall Composite (includes PQIs #1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, and 16) (Removed PQIs #10 and 13, effective 2016).
- PQI #91 Prevention Quality Acute Composite (includes PQIs #11, and 12) (Removed PQI #10, effective 2016).
- PQI #92 Prevention Quality Chronic Composite (includes PQIs #1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 14, 15, and 16) (Removed PQI #13, effective 2016).
- PQI #93 Prevention Quality Diabetes Composite (includes PQIs #1, 3, 14, 16) (New, effective 2016).
HCAI views the area-level indicators as useful starting points for examining healthcare quality, but does not regard them as definitive measures of quality. For information about how the indicators are calculated, including technical details about each of the PQIs, visit the AHRQ Website.
Area-Level (Statewide, County) hospitalization rates are provided for the following PDI measures:
- PDI #14 Asthma (Age 2 – 17)
- PDI #15 Diabetes Short-Term Complications (Age 6 – 17)
- PDI #16 Gastroenteritis (Age 3 months – 17 years)
- PDI #17 Perforated Appendix (ruptured appendix; Age 1-17); Retired, effective 2016
- PDI #18 Urinary Tract Infection (Age 3 months – 17 years)
- PQI #9 Low Birth Weight (< 2500 grams); Retired, effective 2016
- PDI #90 Pediatric Quality Overall Composite (includes PDIs #14, 15, 16 and 18; Age 6-17)
- PDI #91 Pediatric Quality Acute Composite (includes PDIs #16 and 18; Age 6-17)
- PDI #92 Pediatric Quality Chronic Composite (includes PDIs #14 and 15; Age 6-17)
HCAI views the area-level indicators as useful starting points for examining healthcare quality, but does not regard them as definitive measures of quality. For information about how the indicators are calculated, including technical details about each of the PDIs, visit the AHRQ website.
Inpatient Quality Indicators (IQI) for California (Statewide, County)
Inpatient Quality Indicators (IQIs) are measures that represent hospitalization rates for four medical procedures for which there could be possible over- or under-use and for which utilization varies across hospitals or geographic areas. High or low rates, by themselves, do not represent poor quality of care. Instead, the information is intended to inform consumers about local practice patterns or identify potential problem areas that might need further study.
AHRQ has retired these indicators and HCAI will no longer produce them. Please view 2005-2015 IQI reports at Rates of Selected Hospital Procedures Examined for Over or Under-Use by County.
Patient Safety Indicators (PSI) for California (Statewide, County)
Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) are measures that represent rates of potentially-preventable adverse events that occur during a hospital stay. They provide a perspective on potential complications and errors resulting from a hospital admission and help assess total incidence within a region.
AHRQ has retired these indicators and HCAI will no longer produce them. Please view 2005-2015 PSI reports at Hospitalization Counts and Rates of Selected Adverse Hospital Events by California County.