Profiling hospitals based on emergency readmission: A multilevel transition modelling approach
Emergency readmission is seen as an important part of the United Kingdom government policy to improve the quality of care that patients receive. In this context, patients and the public have the right to know how well different health organizations are performing. Most methods for profiling estimate the expected numbers of adverse outcomes (e.g. readmission, mortality) for each organization. A number of statistical concerns have been raised, such as the differences in hospital sizes and the unavailability of relevant data for risk adjustment. Having recognized these statistical concerns, a new framework known as the multilevel transition model is developed. Hospital specific propensities of the first, second and further readmissions are considered to be measures of performance, where these measures are used to define a new performance index. During the period 1997 and 2004, the national (English) hospital episodes statistics dataset comprise more than 5 million patient readmissions. Implementing a multilevel model using the complete population dataset could possibly take weeks to estimate the parameters. To resolve the problem, we extract 1000 random samples from the original data, where each random sample is likely to lead to differing hospital performance measures. For computational efficiency a Grid implementation of the model is developed. Analysing the output from the full 1000 sample, we noticed that 4 out of the 5 worst performing hospitals treating cancer patients were in London. These hospitals are known to be the leading NHS Trusts in England, providing diverse range of services to complex patients, and therefore it is inevitable to expect higher numbers of emergency readmissions.