This study explores the quality improvement potential of reviewing care for long-stay, elderly medicine service patients hospitalized for congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, or pneumonia at a large Midwestern teaching hospital.
Medical records were reviewed for 120 patients aged 65 years or older who were discharged between January 1987 and June 1989, with hospital stays of 15 days or longer. Patients' severity of illness on admission was rated using the Medicare Mortality Predictor System; process quality of care was rated using a structured implicit review form for judging several dimensions of clinical assessment and decision making. Serious complications were coded by etiology and type and judged as possibly or probably preventable. Logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for iatrogenic events; multiple regression was used to assess potential outcome bias in ratings of overall quality of care.
Of 120 medical records reviewed, 70 (58.3%) suffered at least one iatrogenic complication. Forty-three patients (35.8%) suffered an iatrogenic complication rated as potentially preventable. Significant predictors of all iatrogenic complications were quality ratings of initial physician assessment, patients' inability to walk unassisted, and low Glasgow Coma Score. For potentially preventable complications, quality ratings for physician documentation of functional status were also significant. Ratings for overall quality of care were not significantly influenced by the mere presence of death or complications.
Iatrogenic complications are likely to be an extremely common experience for elderly medicine service patients with long lengths of stay. A significant portion of these complications may be potentially preventable with closer attention to initial assessment and documentation of patients' functional status.(Arch Intern Med. 1992;152:2074-2080)
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Internal Medicine editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 54
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.