Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (674)

Stephen Donnelly


674. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health when it is planned to carry out further evaluations to determine the reason for the identified variation on recent findings regarding mortality rates in the case of acute myocardial infarction. [31249/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Healthcare Quality Reporting System (NHQRS), published 8th July 2019, aims to give information on the quality of the health service in Ireland and it is part of this Government’s commitment to quality healthcare and patient safety.

The 2019 NHQRS reported information on mortality rates for acute myocardial infarctions (AMIs). It identified that there was a 30% reduction in mortality rates for AMIs over the past decade. It also showed that Ireland performs better than internationally reported averages in this area (OECD shows an age-sex standardised rate of 7.8 deaths per 100 admissions as compared to Ireland at 6.4 deaths per 100 admissions). The report also notes that there exists some variation in these rates between hospitals.

The reporting of performance and outcome indicators is designed to enable the health service to improve the quality of care provided to patients. Indicators are presented to allow for comparisons between regions, nationally, internationally and over time. When examining a data report, it is usual to see some variation between regions or between previous years. While it is universally acknowledged that variation in data can sometimes be attributed to differences in recording practices, the use of different definitions or even chance, the data and variation is intended to be used by service providers and policy makers to inform our strategies to improve healthcare.

The Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) Clinical Programme of the Health Service Executive (HSE) is a national clinical programme for acute coronary syndromes, including acute myocardial infarction. The programme has over a number of years been involved in a major programme of work to save lives by identify variation and standardising care across the country.

In addition, the National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services commenced in my Department in January 2018 and is ongoing and seeks to achieve optimal patient outcomes at population level with particular emphasis on the safety, quality and sustainability of the services that patients receive through establishing the requirements for an appropriate configuration of specialist cardiac services throughout Ireland. It will be a comprehensive national plan based on a recognised methodological approach to service planning that is inclusive, consultative, robust and data driven.