Performance of ICD-10-AM codes for quality improvement monitoring of hospital-acquired pneumonia in a haematology-oncology casemix in Victoria, Australia

Health Inf Manag. 2022 Nov 14;18333583221131753. doi: 10.1177/18333583221131753. Online ahead of print.


Background: The Australian hospital-acquired complication (HAC) policy was introduced to facilitate negative funding adjustments in Australian hospitals using ICD-10-AM codes.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the positive predictive value (PPV) of the ICD-10-AM codes in the HAC framework to detect hospital-acquired pneumonia in patients with cancer and to describe any change in PPV before and after implementation of an electronic medical record (EMR) at our centre.

Method: A retrospective case review of all coded pneumonia episodes at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia spanning two time periods (01 July 2015 to 30 June 2017 [pre-EMR period] and 01 September 2020 to 28 February 2021 [EMR period]) was performed to determine the proportion of events satisfying standardised surveillance definitions.

Results: HAC-coded pneumonia occurred in 3.66% (n = 151) of 41,260 separations during the study period. Of the 151 coded pneumonia separations, 27 satisfied consensus surveillance criteria, corresponding to an overall PPV of 0.18 (95% CI: 0.12, 0.25). The PPV was approximately three times higher following EMR implementation (0.34 [95% CI: 0.19, 0.53] versus 0.13 [95% CI: 0.08, 0.21]; p = .013).

Conclusion: The current HAC definition is a poor-to-moderate classifier for hospital-acquired pneumonia in patients with cancer and, therefore, may not accurately reflect hospital-level quality improvement. Implementation of an EMR did enhance case detection, and future refinements to administratively coded data in support of robust monitoring frameworks should focus on EMR systems.

Implications: Although ICD-10-AM data are readily available in Australian healthcare settings, these data are not sufficient for monitoring and reporting of hospital-acquired pneumonia in haematology-oncology patients.

Keywords: ICD-10-AM; casemix; clinical coding; data analysis; health information management; health policy; hospital-acquired pneumonia; quality indicators; surveillance.