StATS: Control charts for monitoring mortality rates (created 2005-02-11).

One of the trickiest problems in Medicine is trying to identify whether an unusual trend in mortality rates is an indication of an incompetent physician, or worse, a physician who is actively killing patients.

I have not read the following article, but it proposes the use of control charts for monitoring mortality rates. From the abstract, it looks like a promising approach.

A recent BMJ article

discusses the use of this type of control chart in a particular hospital that had a hospital standardized mortality ratio of 130, which was "the highest of all main acute hospitals in England (30% above the value for England as a whole, which is 100)". In response, the authors used control charts to reduce this rate to 92.8, with the largest reductions in circulatory diseases and respiratory diseases.

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