Health Information Management

Q&A: How should CDI programs track mortality information?

CDI Strategies, June 25, 2009

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Q: Do established CDI programs typically track mortality rates concurrently or by trending historical data? We would like to show our physicians how documentation influences their mortality rates and the hospital's mortality rate, but are not sure what data to look at.
 
A: To track mortality rates, establish a baseline (e.g., 12 months before you start a program) and compare your facility’s performance to a peer group to establish expected mortality rates. Then, use the actual death rate against the expected death rate to calculate your variance. 
 
Many facilities use the state in which they are located as the peer group. When they are a University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) facility, they use UHC as the peer group. They then measure mortality rates against expected each quarter after they implement a program to see that their variance improves.
 
You should trend down to the service line level where you have large variances and also down to individual high volume DRGs with variances.
 
Editor’s note: Garri Garrison, RN, CPUR, CPC, CMC, director of consulting services with 3M Health Information Systems (HIS) and a member of the ACDIS Advisory Board, answered this question. Contact her at glgarrison@mmm.com.



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