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Hospital Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 21 July 2011

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Ceisteanna (618, 619, 620, 621, 622)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

624 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health if he will publish the baseline figures for the mortality rates at Roscommon County Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21945/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

650 Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if he still stands by the mortality figures for cardiac patients cited by him on 5 July 2011 in relation to Roscommon Hospital the week prior to the downgrading of services at Roscommon Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22141/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

651 Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the mortality rates for cardiac patients at Roscommon Hospital cited by him on the 5 July 2011 in Dail Éireann; the way these figures were compiled; the persons that compiled them; if he will publish figures for all hospitals around the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22142/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

652 Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the mortality rates for cardiac patients at all hospitals around the country over the past three years. [22143/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

653 Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the reason figures from the hospital in-patient inquiry system, compiled for the Health Service Executive by the Economic and Social Research Institute, show a much lower mortality rate for cardiac patients at Roscommon Hospital compared to the figures cited by him on the 5 July last; and the figures he will be applying to other hospitals where patient safety issues have been identified. [22144/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 624 and 650 to 653, inclusive, together.

The figures I cited on 5 July referred to 30-day in-hospital mortality rates from Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI), otherwise known as heart attack, based on a three year period from 2008 to 2010. This is an indicator which has been developed by the OECD as part of its Health Care Quality Indicators (HCQI) project. The data comes from a draft report which is currently being completed by the Chief Medical Officer's division within the Department. This report assesses the potential value of using routinely collected hospital discharge data derived from the Hospital Inpatient Enquiry (HIPE) system as a means of examining selected issues on quality of care. It is my intention to publish the report as soon as it has been finalised.

The reason for the difference in the mortality rates which I referred to and those quoted in relation to cardiac patients is that they are not measuring the same cohorts of patients. As indicated, the indicator on AMI in-hospital mortality is an internationally accepted OECD measure. There is no comparable well-defined indicator of overall mortality from cardiac conditions. Further, the ESRI, which administers the HIPE system, has not been engaged in producing hospital-based mortality rates for cardiac patients.

As Minister for Health, I place great value on the use of high quality information in monitoring the performance of the health system and in informing decision-making. The HIPE system is our best source of comprehensive, validated data on hospital patients. It was originally designed to record type and volume of hospital activity, but it is increasingly important that HIPE be fully and appropriately utilised and enhanced to support robust quality measurement. The forthcoming report will represent an important contribution to this objective.

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