No Ma’am, We’re Statisticians

guide1aYes, it’s true. I wanted to build the Illinois Health Care Report Card just so I could finally write a blog post laden with Blues Brother quotes. You could say I was on a mission from God. Our Lady of Blessed Web Site Acceleration don’t fail us now.

Jokes aside, the IPRO eServices team has never worked this hard. Incidentally, the work allowed me to visit Chicago a few times and I have to say it is a surprisingly fun place to be, even if you can’t find the Cook County Assessor’s Office. We had just a few short months to get Illinois up and running, and by today’s numbers I think we did a great job.

We launched early this morning and traffic started flooding in like I’ve never seen. Let’s have a look at what’s in it.


Quality data leads the tabs, and we populated it with both process and outcomes measures. We took the process of care measures from and rolled them up into three neat aggregate scores for Heart Attack, Heart Failure, and Pneumonia. Following that are six mortality measures using AHRQ Inpatient Quality Indicators. Unfortunately due to some complex issues surrounding the measures, we couldn’t risk adjust the data this quarter so the data are observed rates for now, we’ll fix that for the New Year. We round off the tab with some utilisation data including the C-section rate.


For safety we published a range of Surgical Care Improvement measures, then we get the much awaited Hospital-Acquired Infection data. Illinois is out in front with collecting this data, and we had some good stories to tell, but we are looking forward to hospital-level MRSA rates next year. For now you can review central line-associated bloodstream infection rates. The last module on the safety tab shows a selection of the Patient Safety Indicators from AHRQ including accidental puncture/laceration and foreign body left after procedure.


I’ve been vocal that patient satisfaction is the necessary final leg on the barstool of health care reporting to round out the usual quality and cost data, and I was extremely glad to include the HCAHPS data in this report. Ten measures of patient experience after an inpatient stay populate this tab.


The services tab shows the number of patients, the median length of stay and the undiscounted charge for a range of procedures and conditions, depending on whether you’re viewing hospitals or surgery centers.


The final tab shows two interesting proportion measures; the first is the ratio of full-time nurses compared to contract staff, the second is the proportion of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nurse assistants. I’d like to change this up to a pie chart next quarter. Also, on this page you can see the kind of beds this facility is authorised to operate.

Next Up

We’re immediately looking at the nurse staffing data to get some more granular numbers based on various service areas, we’d like to add more procedures and conditions, and maybe bring in the rest of the process data. Regardless, Illinois hosted over 10,000 visitors today so there’s no shortage of interest in these data, and we look forward to growing the site over the next year. First though, whynotthebest 2.0 – it’s a busy season.

It’s 106 hours to Monday, we got a full tank of coffee, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses. will be updated in a few weeks with the most data I’ve ever worked with in one fell swoop, and will feature the most flexible search engine into our millions of rows of quality performance data yet.