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mdash;: With the proliferation of efforts to report publicly the outcomes of healthcare providers and institutions, there is a growing need to define standards for the methods that are being employed. An interdisciplinary writing group identified 7 preferred attributes of statistical models used for publicly reported outcomes. These attributes include (1) clear and explicit definition of an appropriate patient sample, (2) clinical coherence of model variables, (3) sufficiently high-quality and timely data, (4) designation of an appropriate reference time before which covariates are derived and after which outcomes are measured, (5) use of an appropriate outcome and a standardized period of outcome assessment, (6) application of an analytical approach that takes into account the multilevel organization of data, and (7) disclosure of the methods used to compare outcomes, including disclosure of performance of risk-adjustment methodology in derivation and validation samples.

(C) 2006 American Heart Association, Inc.