Quality-of-care Indicators for HIV/AIDS

Published in: Disease Management and Health Outcomes, v. 7, no. 6, June 2000, p. 315-330

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2000

by Albert W. Wu, Allen Gifford, Steven M. Asch, Susan E. Cohn, Samuel A. Bozzette, Robin Yurk

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As care for HIV/AIDS becomes more concentrated within specific providers and organizations, it would be useful to have indicators to describe the quality of care. This paper reviews concepts related to quality of care, and practical issues including sampling and risk adjustment. Indicators can be collected using a combination of administrative, chart review and survey data to reflect clinical, patient and societal perspectives. The authors suggest that for adults with HIV/AIDS, indicators might include measures of health status and patient satisfaction, and essential care processes. Health status measures could include CD4+ T-lymphocyte count and HIV/RNA, progression to AIDS, symptom scores, health-related quality of life scores, patient utility and disability days. Essential care processes could include receipt of acceptable antiretroviral treatment, CD4+ and HIV-RNA monitoring, screening for opportunistic infections, prophylaxis against Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, handling of symptoms and pneumococcal vaccination. For those at increased risk for HIV, potential indicators include screening for HIV risk behaviors and HIV testing. Data from indicators such as these could be used by individuals to select among providers, purchasers of care to select among health plans and payors to hold provider groups accountable. In addition, data could be used by groups of providers to improve the quality of care.

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