Nova Scotia Health Authority making gains in health system performance, according to most recent Canadian Institute of Health Information report

Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) has made gains in several key areas reported in the Canadian Institute of Health Information’s (CIHI) most recent data on health system performance.

The data, released Thursday in an update on yourhealthsystem.ca, shows NSHA performed the same as or better than our peers across the country in many key areas during 2016-17. NSHA performed better than average in the following areas:

  • In-Hospital Sepsis: Sepsis is a clinical syndrome that occurs as a complication of an infection. This indicator measures the sepsis events identified after admission to an acute care hospital. Appropriate preventive and therapeutic measures during a hospital stay can reduce the rate of infections and/or progression of infection to sepsis.
  • Obstetrical Trauma - Vaginal delivery without instrument: This indicator measures the rate of obstetric trauma (third-degree lacerations or greater in severity) for vaginal deliveries without instrument assistance.
  • 30-Day Overall Readmission (by place of service): This indicator looks at how many patients were readmitted to hospital within 30 days of their initial discharge. While not all readmissions can be prevented, the rate can often be reduced through better follow-up and coordination of care for patients after discharge.
  • 30-Day Readmission rates for the medical service: This indicator looks at how many patients were readmitted to hospital within 30 days of their initial discharge. While not all readmissions can be prevented, the rate can often be reduced through better follow-up and coordination of care for patients after discharge. 

 “We have put a number of targeted quality improvement initiatives in place so are pleased to see we’re starting to move the mark,” said Vice-President of Medicine Dr. Lynne Harrigan, co-chair of NSHA’s Quality Improvement and Safety Council.

She pointed to procedures in a number of facilities that identify infections early so antibiotics can be administrated immediately as an example. “Our goal now is to sustain and build on those efforts, while addressing other areas we know need attention.”

Despite a downward trend over the past number of years, NSHA’s Hospital Standardized Mortality Ratio (HSMR) saw a slight increase this year from 104 to 109. HSMR is the ratio of the actual number of in-hospital deaths in a region or hospital to the number that would have been expected, based on the types of patients a region or hospital treats. 

It is important to note that HSMR cases include only those diagnosis groups that account for about 80 per cent of all deaths in acute care hospitals.

The HSMR adjusts for factors that affect in-hospital mortality rates, such as patient age, sex, diagnosis, and admission status. While the HSMR takes into consideration many of the factors associated with the risk of dying in hospital, it cannot adjust for every factor.

“This data signals to us that additional work is needed to understand what is driving those results and will be exploring that in detail,” said Gail Blackmore, Senior Director, Quality Improvement, Safety and Patient Relations. 

“We have a number of quality initiatives in place. We will need to review what’s working well, and where we need to refocus our efforts so we can close the gap between NSHA and the national average.”

CIHI is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides essential information on Canada’s health systems and the health of Canadians. Indicator results include peer comparisons, highlighting where a health system, region or facility’s performance is statistically significantly different from that of their peers. 

Data and information collected and shared by CIHI is used by NSHA’ s quality improvement program to monitor performance and inform quality and performance improvement activities at the system and local level. You can review data by province, zone or facility at yourhealthsystem.ca.

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Media Contact:
Kristen Lipscombe
Senior Advisor, Media Relations
Cell: 902-478-9736 
Provincial Media Line: 1-844-483-3344 
kristen.lipscombe@nshealth.ca
www.nshealth.ca

About Nova Scotia Health Authority
Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) provides health services to Nova Scotians and a wide array of specialized services to Atlantic Canadians. NSHA operates hospitals, health centres and community-based programs across the province. Our team of health professionals includes employees, doctors, researchers, learners and volunteers. We work in partnership with community groups, schools, governments, foundations and auxiliaries and community health boards. Visit www.nshealth.ca for more.