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AHRQ Scorecard Shows Decrease in Hospital-Acquired Conditions

A new Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) national scorecard shows a decrease in reported hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) from 2014 to 2017, with a significant reduction in the rate of antibiotic-associated Clostridioides difficile infections.

The HAC rate captures 28 patient safety event measures, including:

  • hospital-acquired infections;
  • adverse drug events;
  • injuries due to procedures;
  • pressure ulcers and injuries; and
  • falls.

The HAC rate decreased 13 percent from 2014 to 2017, according to final data from 2014 to 2016 and preliminary 2017 data. This reflects a 4.5 percent average annual reduction.

AHRQ established a new 2014 baseline of 99 HACs for every 1,000 discharges to monitor the Department of Health and Human Services’ goal to reduce HACs by 20 percent from 2014 to 2019.

Final 2017 data will be updated and recalculated to reflect changes in seven HAC measures that use ICD-10 data, which will not be available until late 2019. However, these measures comprise only 8 to 10 percent of the annual HACs measured from 2014 to 2017, so the final calculations should not significantly change the preliminary data.

AHRQ has published several tools and resources to aid clinicians in reducing HACs.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Emily Schweich is a senior communications associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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