Friday, October 25, 2013

Chasing the noise: W. Edwards Deming would be spinning in his grave

Chasing the noise: W. Edwards Deming would be spinning in his grave « Andrew Gelman:
My concern with the decile approach to identifying opportunities for improvement is that it violates a principle of quality improvement: chasing noise is fruitless or worse, because it leads to tampering with a system in a way that can make it worse. In the paper, the authors admit that the 95% CIs don’t yield many signals, so they added highest decile of the ORs as signals, too. In other words, they superimposed a ranking system that encourages the hospitals to chase the noise!
Chasing noise is fruitless or worse, because it leads to tampering with a system in a way that can make it worse.

Indeed.

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