A Good Summary on Preventable Death

Identifying preventable deaths is an obvious target for quality improvement. But how to do it – case-note review, routine data, or proxy measures. For a summary of problems see a recent succinct summary by Helen Hogan.[1] Case note review suffers from poor reliability and summary statistics from poor signal to noise ratios. The CLAHRC WM Director has long argued for proxy measures in the form of adherence to evidence-based tenets of good care – that is to say, clinical process measures.[2]

— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director


  1. Hogan H. The problem with preventable deaths. BMJ Qual Saf. 2016; 25: 320-3.
  2. Brown C, Hofer T, Johal A, Thomson R, Nicholl J, Franklin BD, Lilford RJ. An epistemology of patient safety research: a framework for study design and interpretation. Part 3. End points and measurement. Qual Saf Health Care. 2008. 17;170-7.

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