Quality Measures

How We Measure Preventing Serious Complications

Preventing Serious Complications measures how likely it is that patients will have complications while in the hospital or after having some tests or kinds of surgery. This score uses eight Patient Safety Indicators (PSI) from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ):

  1. Collapsed lung due to medical treatment (iatrogenic pneumothorax, PSI #06)
  2. Blood clots, in the lung or a large vein, after surgery (deep vein thrombosis, PSI #12)
  3. A wound that splits open after surgery (postoperative wound dehiscence, PSI #14)
  4. Accidental cuts and tears (accidental puncture or laceration, PSI #15)
  5. Pressure sores (pressure ulcers, PSI #03)
  6. Infections from a large venous catheters (central venous catheter-related blood stream infection rate, PSI #07)
  7. Broken hip from a fall after surgery (postoperative hip fracture rate, PSI #08)
  8. Blood stream infection after surgery (postoperative sepsis, PSI #13)

Higher rates of these serious complications may be a sign of poorer quality hospital care. Hospitals can often prevent these complications if they follow the right steps.

Our data for this measure come from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and are updated yearly in November. The data on CompareMaine are from July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2015. Visit the CMS website on serious complications for more information.