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New tool to helps reduce unnecessary hospitalizations

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released a free, new software program that maps AHRQ's Prevention Quality and Pediatric Quality indicators for a State or county and estimates the expected cost savings that could be achieved by reducing potentially avoidable hospitalizations. The Prevention Quality Indicators screen hospital data for conditions which good primary care can usually prevent from requiring hospitalization. The Pediatric Quality Indicators screen for quality of care problems in hospitalized children.

The tool was designed to help State and local health are officials use hospital inpatient discharge data in order to assess whether they have a problem with potentially preventable hospitalizations and medical errors and identify interventions to resolve the issue. The program can also be useful to employers, employer coalitions, Medicaid programs, health departments, hospitals, health systems, health plans, and researchers interested in improving health care quality in the community.

For more information, go to Preventable Hospitalization Costs at http://qualityindicators.ahrq.gov/mappingtool.htm.

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