OBJECTIVE The Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has defined Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) for assessments in quality of inpatient care. The hypothesis of this study is that, in the treatment of unruptured cerebral aneurysms (UCAs), PSI events are less likely to occur in hospitals meeting the volume thresholds defined by The Joint Commission for Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC) certification. METHODS Using the 2002–2011 National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample, patients treated electively for a nonruptured cerebral aneurysm were selected. Patients were evaluated for PSI events (e.g., pressure ulcers, retained surgical item, perioperative hemorrhage, pulmonary embolism, sepsis) defined by AHRQ-specified ICD-9 codes. Hospitals were categorized by treatment volume into CSC or non-CSC volume status based on The Joint Commission’s annual volume thresholds of at least 20 patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage and performance of 15 or more endovascular coiling or surgical clipping procedures for aneurysms. RESULTS A total of 65,824 patients underwent treatment for an unruptured cerebral aneurysm. There were 4818 patients (7.3%) in whom at least 1 PSI event occurred. The overall inpatient mortality rate was 0.7%. In patients with a PSI event, this rate increased to 7% compared with 0.2% in patients without a PSI event (p < 0.0001). The overall rate of poor outcome was 3.8%. In patients with a PSI event, this rate increased to 23.3% compared with 2.3% in patients without a PSI event (p < 0.0001). There were significant differences in PSI event, poor outcome, and mortality rates between non-CSC and CSC volume-status hospitals (PSI event, 8.4% vs 7.2%; poor outcome, 5.1% vs 3.6%; and mortality, 1% vs 0.6%). In multivariate analysis, all patients treated at a non-CSC volume-status hospital were more likely to suffer a PSI event with an OR of 1.2 (1.1–1.3). In patients who underwent surgery, this relationship was more substantial, with an OR of 1.4 (1.2–1.6). The relationship was not significant in the endovascularly treated patients. CONCLUSIONS In the treatment of unruptured cerebral aneurysms, PSI events occur relatively frequently and are associated with significant increases in morbidity and mortality. In patients treated at institutions achieving the volume thresholds for CSC certification, the likelihood of having a PSI event, and therefore the likelihood of poor outcome and mortality, was significantly decreased. These improvements are being driven by the improved outcomes in surgical patients, whereas outcomes and mortality in patients treated endovascularly were not sensitive to the CSC volume status of the hospital and showed no significant relationship with treatment volumes.
- Comprehensive stroke center
- National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample
- Patient safety
- Vascular disorders