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Confusion in Hospital Mortality Scores Caused by Failure in Proper Coding for Same Day Emergency Care Patients

HSJ writes an increase in so-called same day emergency care patients and confusion over how they should be counted has caused an artificial hike in some hospitals’ mortality scores. The mortality score irregularities represent the second major concern over the accuracy of a major NHS data set in as many weeks, following NHS bosses warning last week the four-hour target data was “contaminated”. The two issues are both connected to what the NHS’ emergency care chief called an “explosion” in patients being treated and discharged on the same day, often in ambulatory care units, for conditions which up until relatively recently would have warranted an overnight admission. There has been a failure to roll-out robust counting methodologies for hospitals to properly code these patients.

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