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  • 1. Hengelbrock, Johannes
    et al.
    Höhle, Michael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics. Federal Institute for Quality Assurance and Transparency in Healthcare (IQTIG), Germany.
    Evaluating quality of hospital care using time-to-event endpoints based on patient follow-up data2019In: Health Services & Outcomes Research Methodology, ISSN 1387-3741, E-ISSN 1572-9400, Vol. 19, no 4, p. 197-214Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Revisions of hip and knee arthroplasty implants and cardiac pacemakers pose a large medical and economic burden for society. Consequently, the identification of health care providers with potential for quality improvements regarding the reduction of revision rates is a central aim of quality assurance in any healthcare system. Even though the time span between initial and possible subsequent operations is a classical time-to-event endpoint, hospital-specific quality indicators are in practice often measured as revisions within a fixed follow-up period and subsequently analyzed by traditional methods like proportions or logistic regression. Methods from survival analysis, in contrast, allow the inclusion of all observations, i.e. also those with early censoring or events, and make thus more efficient and more timely use of the available data than traditional methods. This may be obvious to a statistician but in an applied context with historic traditions, the introduction of more complicated methods needs a clear presentation of their added value. We demonstrate how standard survival methods like the Kaplan-Meier estimator and a multiplicative hazards model outperform traditional methods with regard to the identification of performance outliers. Following that, we use the proposed methods to analyze 640,000 hip and knee replacement operations with about 13,000 revisions between 2015 and 2016 in more than 1200 German hospitals in the annual evaluation of quality of care. Based on the results, performance outliers are identified which are to be further investigated qualitatively with regard to their provided quality of care and possible necessary measures for improvement. Survival analysis is a sound statistical framework for analyzing data in the context of quality assurance and survival methods outperform the statistical methods that are traditionally used in this area.

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