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Inequality In 30-day Mortality And The Wait For Surgery After Hip Fracture: The Impact Of The Regional Health Care Evaluation Program In Lazio (Italy).

P. Colais, N. Agabiti, D. Fusco, L. Pinnarelli, C. Sorge, C. Perucci, M. Davoli
Published 2013 · Medicine

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OBJECTIVE INTERVENTIONS that address inequalities in health care are a priority for public health research. We evaluated the impact of the Regional Health Care Evaluation Program in the Lazio region, which systematically calculates and publicly releases hospital performance data, on socioeconomic differences in the quality of healthcare for hip fracture. DESIGN Retrospective cohort study. SETTING and participants We identified, in the hospital information system, elderly patients hospitalized for hip fracture between 01 January 2006 and 31 December 2007 (period 1) and between 01 January 2009 and 30 November 2010 (period 2). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES We used multivariate regression models to test the association between socioeconomic position index (SEP, level I well-off to level III disadvantaged) and outcomes: mortality within 30 days of hospital arrival, median waiting time for surgery and proportion of interventions within 48 h. RESULTS We studied 11 581 admissions. Lower SEP was associated with a higher risk of 30-day mortality in period 1 (relative risk (RR) = 1.42, P = 0.027), but not in period 2. Disadvantaged people were less likely to undergo intervention within 48 h than well-off persons in period 1 (level II: RR = 0.72, P < 0.001; level III: RR = 0.46, P < 0.001) and period 2 (level II: RR = 0.88, P = 0.037; level III: RR = 0.63, P < 0.001). We observed a higher probability of undergoing intervention within 48 h in period 2 compared with the period 1 for each socioeconomic level. CONCLUSION This study suggests that a systematic evaluation of health outcome approach, including public disclosure of results, could reduce socioeconomic differences in healthcare through a general improvement in the quality of care.
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