Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scores that evaluate newborn intensive care units are inconsistent

Date:
March 4, 2013
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Future tools should build on success of current scores to improve care for vulnerable infants, according to new research.

Scoring methods commonly used to evaluate Newborn Intensive Care Units (NICU) are inconsistent, according to new research from the University of Michigan.

The research published last week in the journal Pediatrics compared 10 well-known scores that have been developed to evaluate NICUs. The researchers found more differences than similarities.

"This raises the question: do these scores level the playing field well enough, or are scores still somewhat unfair? And what more can we learn about the major causes of mortality for infants in neonatal intensive care? By doing research to improve tools to adjust hospital scores, we believe that it will be possible to improve care for these very vulnerable infants," says Stephen W. Patrick, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., lead author of the study and a fellow in the University of Michigan's division of neonatal and perinatal medicine at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

Parents and payers want to be able to know which hospitals do the best job taking care of newborns -- especially newborns with life-threatening illness, Patrick says. Currently, much effort is put forth to help the public understand the quality of care that hospitals are providing, using scores like these applied to NICUs.

Patrick and his U-M co-authors Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., associate professor in the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit and Robert Schumacher, M.D., professor of neonatal-perinatal medicine, looked at 10 different neonatal mortality risk adjustment scores, including the Clinical Risk Index for Babies and the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development "calculator." The scores differed substantively in intended purpose, in areas like research, clinical management or performance.

The scores are also inconsistent in timing of data collection and inclusion of co-morbidity indicators.

"Giving scores to hospitals is trickier than it may seem -- largely because some hospitals take care of especially high numbers of very sick babies, and their scores can look worse than hospitals taking care of healthier babies. In other words, hospitals with sicker infants are taking a harder 'test,' says Patrick.

The researchers stress that an evaluation or scoring process is essential, but more meaningful comparisons are needed.

"To make fairer comparisons, researchers have developed different 'risk adjustment' techniques over the last 20 years. But our research shows that these adjusted scores may not always level the playing field when comparing one hospital to another. Moreover, some of these tools are being used in ways they were not originally intended. We hope additional research in this area can both improve the care for patients and allow for reliable comparisons of institutions," says Schumacher.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. W. Patrick, R. E. Schumacher, M. M. Davis. Methods of Mortality Risk Adjustment in the NICU: A 20-Year Review. PEDIATRICS, 2013; 131 (Supplement): S68 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-1427h

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Scores that evaluate newborn intensive care units are inconsistent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130304123249.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2013, March 4). Scores that evaluate newborn intensive care units are inconsistent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130304123249.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Scores that evaluate newborn intensive care units are inconsistent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130304123249.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins