Tom, in this month's issue of The Journal of Pediatrics, an article by Brilli and colleagues from the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio discusses the use of something they have entitled "the preventable harm index" to try to drive their health care system toward zero patients harmed. They believe that instead of reporting our events such as hospital acquired infections as a rate such as the number of ventilator associated pneumonias per 1000 ventilator days, we should actually be looking at the real number of patients who have developed a problem, to make it more real and palpable to their staff. The article can be found at the following link:
I find this interesting, because we have always been held to a standard of benchmarking--comparing ourselves to others--in how we know how well we are doing. However, Dr. Brilli and colleagues believe that by benchmarking, we may become complacent with a number--we can say we are better than average, so we are ok. In fact, he has a point. When is good, good-enough.
I would be interested to know what other people think about the use of such a measure as compared to the traditional measures we have used.