HIV Quality of Care Measures Released

Albany, Aug. 18, 2000 – The State Health Department AIDS Institute today released performance results comparing the quality of care provided by more than 120 health care facilities across New York State that treat HIV–infected individuals. Although clinical performance data have been collected for several years, this is the first time that individual facilities have been identified by name in the AIDS Institute's annual Quality of Care report.

"New York State continues to lead the nation in providing the highest quality of care to individuals with HIV/AIDS," State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr. P.H. said. "Excellence in HIV/AIDS medical management has led to improved patient outcomes and higher quality of life for New Yorkers who are infected with and affected by HIV and AIDS.

"This strategy – of comparing clinical performance among health care facilities – allows the Department to recognize health care facilities that are high achievers and encourages those with lower rates to improve their quality of care – after all, they are taking care of people. The Department believes that the release of this data will allow the facilities to visualize their standing regarding the medical management of patients with HIV/AIDS, and we hope it will serve as an incentive for facilities to improve their performance and maintain current levels of excellence, as well as provide the public with information that will allow for the best educated decision–making."

Data released today were collected by IPRO for the AIDS Institute's Quality of Care Program. They present a snapshot of HIV clinical care performance at health care facilities during 1998. One quality of care measure, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis, reflects clinical performance in 1997. Quality indicators were selected by the New York State HIV Quality of Care Advisory Committee, a group of clinicians recognized for their expertise in HIV/AIDS care. These performance measures include:

  • Semiannual HIV staging (CD4 lymphocyte and viral load measurement);
  • Antiretroviral therapy;
  • Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis;
  • Annual tuberculosis screening; and
  • Annual pelvic exam performance.

Although the results will provide consumers and community–based organizations serving individuals with HIV/AIDS with information that should be considered when making selection decisions about health care providers, officials caution that performance data should be evaluated as a whole. The results of a single indicator should not be deemed as reflective of the overall quality of care provided by a particular facility.

Following are highlights of the Quality of Care report:

  • 94 percent of all facilities achieved a performance rating of 90 percent or above in providing a semiannual lymphocyte count test and viral load test;
  • 28 percent of facilities achieved a 90 percent or above performance rating in providing an annual pelvic exam to HIV–infected women;
  • 85 percent of facilities scored a 90 percent or above performance rating in providing PCP prophylaxis to their patients with AIDS; and
  • 16 percent of facilities achieved a 90 percent or above performance rating in providing an annual TB screening tests to individuals with HIV/AIDS.

The Quality of Care report compares clinical performance of health care facilities that treat individuals with HIV/AIDS in nine regions of New York State: Manhattan; Bronx; Brooklyn; Queens, Staten Island; Long island; Lower and Mid–Hudson Valley; Northeast New York; and Central and Western New York.

The Department's AIDS Institute will not only continue to work with health care facilities to help enhance their clinical performance in areas where improvement is needed, as indicated by the quality measures, but will also continue to help the ones that are successful maintain their quality of care and treatment.

The AIDS Institute's Quality of Care program coordinates on–site performance reviews at more than 120 health care facilities across the State. Reviews have been conducted for six years, but this report marks the first time that facilities have been individually identified with regard to their clinical performance.

Along with the release of quality of care indicators, the AIDS Institute provides a free consultation service to health care facilities to assist them in building systems to monitor quality of care; distributes quality improvement, "HIVQUAL" software to facilities; and identifies and disseminates best practices information.