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Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2011 Nov;12(6):e225-32. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0b013e3181fe2e26.

Benchmarking, public reporting, and pay-for-performance: a mixed-methods survey of California pediatric intensive care unit medical directors.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of California Davis, Davis, CA, USA.



We sought to assess the attitudes of pediatric intensive care unit medical directors in California regarding the need for, the validity of, and the potential impact of benchmarking, public reporting, and pay-for-performance on pediatric critical care.


Cross-sectional survey.


Pediatric intensive care units in California.


Medical directors of pediatric intensive care units.




Self-administered questionnaire and a semi-structured phone interview from 16 pediatric intensive care unit medical directors. All data were anonymized before review. Standard methods for identifying and agreeing on themes in transcribed interviews were applied. Seventy-three percent of California pediatric intensive care unit medical directors agree that benchmarking improves patient outcomes but are undecided whether public reporting and pay-for-performance improve healthcare quality. They are wary of the validity of data used to generate these performance measures and are discouraged by the time and costs required to collect data for standard performance outcomes (severity-adjusted pediatric intensive care unit mortality). Leadership opinions appear potentially "dynamic" in multiple domains and across each of the measures assessed.


Pediatric intensive care unit medical directors sometimes express contradictory opinions about the merits of shared benchmarking efforts and express concerns across a range of logistic, methodological, and policy issues. These findings raise fundamental questions about how to create clinical performance standards that facilitate quality improvement in the face of a seriously divided constituency. Further, we propose that pediatric intensive care unit medical directors play more active roles in the development, implementation, and communication of shared state-wide data collection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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