Go to reports Go to reports  Definition of Terms

AAA ---Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. A bulge in a section of the aorta, the body’s main artery. Because the section with the aneurysm is overstretched, it can burst. If the aorta bursts, it can cause serious bleeding that can quickly lead to death.

ACE Inhibitor ---ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors are medicines used to treat heart attacks, heart failure, or a decreased function of the heart.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) --- AHRQ is the health services research arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which specializes in major areas of health care research:

--Quality improvement and patient safety.
--Outcomes and effectiveness of care.
--Clinical practice and technology assessment.
--Health care organization and delivery systems.
--Primary care (including preventive services).
--Health care costs and sources of payment.
AHRQ is a science partner, working with the public and private sectors to build the knowledge base for what works—and does not work—in health and health care and to translate this knowledge into everyday practice and policymaking. In addition, they are a major source of funding and technical assistance for health services research and research training at leading U.S. universities and other institutions.

ARB ---ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers) are medicines used to treat heart attacks, heart failure, or a decreased function of the heart

Benchmark --- something that serves as a standard by which others may be measured or judged

Beta Blocker --- a type of medicine used to lower blood pressure, treat chest pain (angina) and heart failure, and that prevent a heart attack.

CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft) --- Also called a bypass procedure or open heart surgery. The surgeon takes a piece of vein from another part of the body and attaches this to bypass a blocked artery.

CEA --- Carotid Endarterectomy. A surgery to remove plaque buildup that causes narrowing (stenosis) in the carotid artery. The surgery is done to reduce the risk for transient ischemic attack (TIA) and stroke.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) --- CMS is a Federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Programs for which CMS is responsible include Medicare, Medicaid, State Childrens Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and Clinical Laboratory Improvements Act.

Evidence-based health care --- Evidence-based medicine tries to address the question…what is the evidence we have to justify the treatments used in clinical practice? Clinical trials and other types of research aim to provide evidence (“proof”) whether a particular treatment works, how well it works compared to other treatments, and what are the risks of the treatment.

HIPAA --- HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. A US regulation that gives patients greater access to their own medical records and more control over how their personally identifiable health information is used. The regulation also addresses the obligations of healthcare providers and health plans to protect health information.

Hospital Compare --- A quality tool for adults, including people with Medicare - www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov

Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems (HCAHPS) --- HCAHPS (pronounced H-caps) is a national, standardized survey of patient’s perception of their hospital experience.

Index --- Summary measures combine two or more process measures or outcomes to create a picture of overall care. A summary measure is created by adding up the results of individual measures/outcomes or by setting a requirement that the individual measures/outcomes must all meet.

Inpatient Quality Indicators (IQI) - A method to calculate inpatient quality indicator (volume, utilization, mortality of select diagnoses, mortality of select procedures) developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The indicators are calculated from administrative and billing data.

Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) --- ISMP is a nonprofit organization that works closely with healthcare practitioners and institutions, regulatory agencies, professional organizations and the pharmaceutical industry to provide education about adverse drug events and their prevention.

The Joint Commission (TJC) (previously JCAHO) --- TJC is an independent, not-for-profit organization that evaluates and accredits more than 16,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. TJC is the nation's predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. TJC has developed state-of-the-art, professionally based standards and evaluated the compliance of health care organizations against these benchmarks.

Left Ventricular Systolic Function Assessment --- A procedure to check how well the heart is pumping to the body.

Measure --- an estimate of what is to be expected

Medication Reconciliation --- A formal process of identifying the most complete and accurate list of medications a patient is taking and using that list to provide correct medications for the patient anywhere within the health care system.

MetaStar, Incorporated --- A non-profit health care quality improvement organization (QIO) based in Madison, Wisconsin. For over 30 years, MetaStar has been assuring cost-effective, quality health care based on extensive knowledge and experience in the areas of quality improvement, data analysis, and cost containment.

National Average --- The average of hospitals in the U.S. accredited by The Joint Commission.

National Quality Alliance (NQA) --- In December 2002, the American Hospital Association (AHA), Federation of American Hospitals (FAH), and Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) launched the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA), a national public-private collaboration to encourage hospitals to voluntarily collect and report hospital quality performance information. This effort is intended to make important information about hospital performance accessible to the public and to inform and invigorate efforts to improve quality. CMS and the Joint Commission participate in the HQA, along with the AHA, the FAH, the AAMC, the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Organizations, American Association of Retired People, American Federation of Labor and Council of Industrial Organizations, the Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Quality Forum, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, the National Business Coalition on Health, General Electric, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

National Quality Forum (NQF) --- The National Quality Forum is a private, not-for-profit membership organization created to develop and implement a national strategy for health care quality measurement and reporting.

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) --- this procedure, often referred to as an angioplasty, is used to open blocked blood vessels that cause heart attacks.

PTCA --- Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. A non-surgical treatment for opening obstructed coronary arteries. Also referred to as "baloon treatment".

Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) --- See MetaStar.

State Average --- The average of Wisconsin hospitals reporting each measure.

State Benchmark --- The 90th percentile of Wisconsin hospitals reporting each measure. hospitals.

WHAIC --- Wisconsin Hospital Association Information Center. A wholly owned subsidiary of the Wisconsin Hospital Association, dedicated to collecting and disseminating complete, accurate and timely data about charges and services provided by Wisconsin hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers.

Wisconsin Quality Steering Committee --- An independent, multi-disciplinary body composed of insurers, employers, policy, consumer representatives and health care providers, called the Wisconsin Quality Initiative Steering Committee, guide the development of CheckPoint.

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