About Prevention Quality Indicators (PQIs)

The Prevention Quality Indicators (PQIs) are a set of measures developed by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for use in assessing the quality of outpatient care for "ambulatory care sensitive conditions" (ACSCs). ACSCs are conditions for which good outpatient care can potentially prevent the need for hospitalization, or for which early intervention can prevent complications or more severe disease. The PQIs are measured as rates of admission to the hospital for these conditions in a given population.

This site allows visitors to examine the 12 PQIs that pertain to adults. They are the rates of admission to the hospital for:

  • Short-term complication of diabetes
  • Long-term complication of diabetes
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Lower-extremity amputation among patients with diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Angina
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Asthma
  • Dehydration
  • Bacterial pneumonia
  • Urinary tract infection

These conditions are grouped into four categories on this site: diabetes (containing the first four conditions above), circulatory (containing the next three), respiratory (the next two), and acute (the final three above), as well as a composite measure (hospital admission for any of the 12 conditions).

The PQIs can be used as a starting point for evaluating the overall quality of primary and preventive care in an area. They are sometimes characterized as "avoidable hospitalizations," but this does not mean that the hospitalizations were unnecessary or inappropriate at the time they occurred.