Dissertation Success in “Failure to Rescue”
LDI Senior Fellow Jeffrey Silber’s dissertation in Health Care Management has had the lasting impact that many doctoral students dream about, yet few achieve. In his 1990 dissertation, Jeffrey Silber, MD, PhD, developed a new measure of hospital quality that persists to this day. In a landmark article in Medical Care in July 1992, Dr. Silber demonstrated the utility of this new measure, naming it “failure to rescue” (FTR). He showed that FTR—defined as the probability of death after a complication or adverse occurrence in hospital—was a better measure of hospital surgical quality than either the overall mortality rate or the rate of adverse events themselves. Since then, FTR has been used in hundreds of studies and is one of 20 patient safety indicators used by Agency of Health Care Research and Quality. The National Quality Forum incorporated FTR as three specific quality measures of hospital quality.
More than 25 years later, Dr. Silber has become an international authority on the theory of outcomes measurement and model development and validation, as well as the applications of outcomes measures to pressing public health issues. Since 1997, he has directed the Center for Outcomes Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.