Pediatric Quality Indicators Overview

What are Pediatric Quality Indicators?

The Pediatric Quality Indicators (PDIs) are a set of measures that can be used with hospital inpatient discharge data to provide a perspective on the quality of pediatric healthcare. Specifically, PDIs screen for problems that pediatric patients experience as a result of exposure to the healthcare system and that may be amenable to prevention by changes at the system or provider level.

Development of quality indicators for the pediatric population involves many of the same challenges associated with the development of quality indicators for the adult population. These challenges include the need to carefully define indicators using administrative data, establish validity and reliability, detect bias and design appropriate risk adjustment, and overcome challenges of implementation and use. However, the special population of children invokes additional, special challenges. Four factors—differential epidemiology of child healthcare relative to adult healthcare, dependency, demographics, and development—can pervade all aspects of children’s healthcare; simply applying adult indicators to younger age ranges is insufficient.

This PDIs focus on potentially preventable complications and iatrogenic events for pediatric patients treated in hospitals, and on preventable hospitalizations among pediatric patients.

How are Pediatric Quality Indicators used?

The PDIs apply to the special characteristics of the pediatric population; screen for problems that pediatric patients experience as a result of exposure to the healthcare system and that may be amenable to prevention by changes at the provider level or area level; and, help to evaluate preventive care for children in an outpatient setting, and most children are rarely hospitalized.

For more information about the Pediatric Quality Indicators, download the Pediatric Quality Indicators Brochure.

Pediatric Quality Indicator Resources

Technical Specifications

  • Individual Measure Technical Specifications (v6.0 ICD-10 coding only) — Provides a breakdown of the calculations used to formulate each PDI; each technical specification document includes a brief description of the measure, numerator information, denominator information and details on cases that should be excluded from calculations.

  • ICD-9 SAS QI and WinQI v6.0 Technical Specifications, Parameter Estimates and Benchmark documents to be released with ICD-9 software in Fall of 2016. To access v5.0 Quality Indicator materials and earlier versions, visit the Archives page.


Additional PDI Resources

Quality Indicator Software

Visit the AHRQ QI Software Page for more information on the Quality Indicators SAS 5.0 and WinQI software.