Pediatric Quality Indicators Overview

What are Pediatric Quality Indicators?

The Pediatric Quality Indicators (PDIs) are a set of measures that can be used with hospital inpatient discharge data to provide a perspective on the quality of pediatric healthcare. Specifically, PDIs screen for problems that pediatric patients experience as a result of exposure to the healthcare system and that may be amenable to prevention by changes at the system or provider level.

Development of quality indicators for the pediatric population involves many of the same challenges associated with the development of quality indicators for the adult population. These challenges include the need to carefully define indicators using administrative data, establish validity and reliability, detect bias and design appropriate risk adjustment, and overcome challenges of implementation and use. However, the special population of children invokes additional, special challenges. Four factors—differential epidemiology of child healthcare relative to adult healthcare, dependency, demographics, and development—can pervade all aspects of children’s healthcare; simply applying adult indicators to younger age ranges is insufficient.

This PDIs focus on potentially preventable complications and iatrogenic events for pediatric patients treated in hospitals, and on preventable hospitalizations among pediatric patients.

How are Pediatric Quality Indicators used?

The PDIs apply to the special characteristics of the pediatric population; screen for problems that pediatric patients experience as a result of exposure to the healthcare system and that may be amenable to prevention by changes at the provider level or area level; and, help to evaluate preventive care for children in an outpatient setting, and most children are rarely hospitalized.

For more information about the Patient Safety Indicators, download the Pediatric Quality Indicators Brochure.

Pediatric Quality Indicator Resources

Technical Specifications

  • Individual Measure Technical Specifications — Provides a breakdown of the calculations used to formulate each PDI; each technical specification document includes a brief description of the measure, numerator information, denominator information and details on cases that should be excluded from calculations.

  • Log of Coding Updates and Revisions — Provides tables summarizing the revisions made to the PDI software, software documentation, and the technical specification documents since the original release of these documents in June 2002; the tables also reflect changes to indicator specifications based on updates to ICD-9-CM and MS-DRG codes through Fiscal Year 2013 (effective October 1, 2012) and incorporate coding updates that were implemented in both versions of the PDI software (SAS and Windows).

  • Parameter Estimates — Provides tables of PDI covariates and coefficients for risk adjustment logistic regression modelsProvides tables of PDI covariates and coefficients for risk adjustment logistic regression models.

  • Benchmark Data Tables — Provides tables of nationwide comparative rates for the PDI, including observed rate, numerator, and denominator data for each indicator overall and stratified by sex, age group, and insurance status.

Additional PDI Resources

Quality Indicator Software

Visit the AHRQ QI Software Page for more information on the Quality Indicators SAS 5.0 and WinQI software.