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2005 National Healthcare Quality Report

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Failure to rescue

Measure Source

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Patient Safety Indicators (PSI).


2.3 Failure to rescue or deaths per 1,000 discharges having developed specified complications of care during hospitalization (excluding patients transferred in or out, patients admitted from long-term-care facilities, neonates, and patients over 74 years old), United States, 2001 and 2002.

Data Source

AHRQ, Center for Delivery, Organization, and Markets, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), Nationwide Inpatient Sample.


Inpatient hospital discharges with potential complications of care listed in failure to rescue definition (i.e., pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism, sepsis, acute renal failure, shock/cardiac arrest, or gastrointestinal hemorrhage/acute ulcer), excluding patients transferred in or out, patients admitted from long-term-care facilities, neonates, and patients over 74 years old.


Subset of the denominator with discharge disposition of death.


There may be additional diagnostic criteria specific to each complication that affect inclusion or exclusion from this measure statistic. Detailed information can be found at

Rates are adjusted by age, gender, age-gender interactions, comorbidities, and Diagnosis Related Groups (DRG) clusters. When reporting is by age, the adjustment is by gender, comorbidities, and DRG clusters; when reporting is by gender, the adjustment is by age, comorbidities, and DRG clusters.

Although not all States participate in the HCUP database, the Nationwide Inpatient Sample is weighted to give national estimates using weights based on all U.S. community, non-rehabilitation hospitals in the American Hospital Association Annual Survey of Hospitals.

This table was created using version 2.1, revision 2, of the AHRQ PSI software. This measure is referred to as indicator 4 in the software documentation.

Transfusion reactions (discharge-based) and transfusion reactions (area-based). Death in low mortality DRGs.



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