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 31, 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 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
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