Payers, patients, and hospitals all need accurate information on patient outcomes and hospital performance. With such information, hospitals can identify areas of potential improvement, payers can reward doctors and hospitals for cost-effective care, and patients can put pressure on hospitals by voting with their feet, and choosing hospitals with better quality and outcomes.
However, it is difficult to compare hospital performance because patient populations at different hospitals vary considerably in their baseline risk, confounding attempts to assess
differences in their treatment results fairly. Statisticians try to correct for these differences to allow better apples to apples comparisons by using risk adjustment, or risk stratification, which involves calculating how much the variation in a hospital’s outcomes can be explained by baseline risk.
There are many risk adjustment systems currently in use, but they all suffer from one or more drawbacks, including low accuracy, bias, narrow applicability, and lack of transparency. The Risk Stratification Index is a promising system for adjusting for risk in patients that addresses these drawbacks.
To learn more about RSI, take a look at these resources: