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There is worldwide interest in using routinely collected statistics to construct indicators to measure the outcome of hospital care. Typically, interest in any particular condition tends to focus on the review of comparative performance as assessed by individual measures such as mortality, emergency re-admission, or excessive lengths of stay. There is thus a set of indicators to review.
Consideration should also be given to the development of multidimensional outcome indicators, derivable from routinely collected data, that summarise the outcomes of a hospital admission and can be used to provide prognostic information. With the universal implementation of the NHS number in England, it will be possible to link data about hospital admissions for each individual with their subsequent admissions and with mortality data. National indicators based on linked data are now starting to be published. …
Alastair Mason and Henry McGuinness are funded by the Department of Health as part of its funding of the National Centre for Health Outcomes Development. The views expressed in this letter are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Department of Health. The Unit of Health-Care Epidemiology is funded by the South East Regional Office of the NHS Executive.