A data request was made from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) regarding patients who had undergone a primary total knee replacement (TKR) at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in 2014. In total, 576 patients had received post-operative PROMs questionnaires in 2014. Complete information was available for 195 patients, which forms the basis of this analysis. The patient letters and the pre-operative assessment documentation on our electronic system (Bluespier) were then reviewed. The comorbidities that the clinician felt would apply to that patient were recorded from the list provided in the Oxford Knee Score (OKS) and were then compared with what the patients had recorded.
In total, there were 189 additional comorbidities identified from our notes review. Of these, 95 would alter the predicted OKS score in 77 patients. There was a significant change in average predicted OKS score from 33.7 ± 3.9 to 32.3 ± 4.0 (p = 0.02) in the 77 patients who had additional OKS-altering comorbidities. When looking at the case-mix adjustment, the original mean adjustment was -0.83 (± 1.1). After adjusting for clinician-reported comorbidities, there was a significant change in the mean to -1.40 (± 1.4) (p < 0.0001). After the relevant recalculations were carried out, the adjusted average health gain went from 15.254 to 15.907. This is an improvement of 0.653.
The small change of ensuring accurate comorbidity recording can have an impact on the adjusted average health gain for a hospital. This is important information: patients report comorbidities differently to clinicians, and often overrate their health. Despite the limitation of this comorbidity data, hospital performance data, which are publically available, are based on this case-mix and comorbidity adjustment. Care clearly needs to be taken in the interpretation of these case mix-adjusted scores.
The PROMs (Patient-Reported Outcome Measures) programme, embedded within the NJR, …