Inpatient Quality Indicators Overview

What are Inpatient Quality Indicators?

The Inpatient Quality Indicators (IQIs) are a set of measures that provide a perspective on hospital quality of care using hospital administrative data. These indicators reflect quality of care inside hospitals and include inpatient mortality for certain procedures and medical conditions; utilization of procedures for which there are questions of overuse, underuse, and misuse; and volume of procedures for which there is some evidence that a higher volume of procedures is associated with lower mortality.

How are Inpatient Quality Indicators used?

The IQIs can be used to help hospitals identify potential problem areas that might need further study; provide the opportunity to assess quality of care inside the hospital using administrative data found in the typical discharge record; include mortality indicators for conditions or procedures for which mortality can vary from hospital to hospital; include utilization indicators for procedures for which utilization varies across hospitals or geographic areas; and, include volume indicators for procedures for which outcomes may be related to the volume of those procedures performed.


For more information about the Inpatient Quality Indicators, download the Inpatient Quality Indicators Brochure.

Inpatient Quality Indicators Resources

Technical Specifications

  • Individual Measure Technical Specifications — Provides a breakdown of the calculations used to formulate each IQI; 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 IQI 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 IQI software (SAS and Windows).

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

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

Additional IQI Resources

Quality Indicator Software

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