Welcome to the first post by the HIMSS NQF (National Quality Forum Taskforce. Our goal here is to give you timely information about NQF activities and projects, especially those related to health information technology.
The newly established HIMSS NQF Taskforce operates under the HIMSS Cost, Quality and Safety Committee. It is composed of many dedicated people who worked hard last year as a Workgroup and are now members of the Taskforce.
As winds of change blow across the healthcare landscape, it is imperative for our industry to stay engaged, make meaningful contributions and offer practical solutions. With a renewed emphasis on quality, safety and efficiency from the government, payers and consumers alike, performance measurement has taken on a whole new meaning.
Whether for accountability through public reporting, meaningful use incentives or new payment methods through value-based purchasing, quality measurement is at the epicenter of these activities.
To date, NQF has endorsed over 600 measures in various domains; 113 quality measures were “retooled” from existing measures with specifications in the e-Measures format and are currently undergoing final review.
Starting in May 2012, all quality measures submitted for endorsement to the NQF will also require e-Measures specifications. In addition to measures endorsement, NQF also plays many other important roles in the “national quality enterprise.”
Through a series of blog posts in the following weeks, we will present educational material about the NQF’s mission, its operations, and most importantly, its role in consensus development for setting national healthcare priorities and the application of performance measures to achieve specific goals within those priorities.
The Department of Health and Human Services often works closely with the NQF to achieve some of its key objectives. As a public-private partnership that follows a well-defined consensus development process (CDP), NQF allows both subject matter experts and the public at-large to participate at multiple levels within its consensus development.
It is our intent to give timely communication to HIMSS membership when such opportunities present. This communication will take full advantage of all HIMSS communication mechanisms, including the HIMSS.org website, e-mail distributions, webinars and social media, including Twitter. We hope you will stay engaged, give us your valuable feedback, and most importantly, get involved with NQF activities. Look for our next post on Tuesday, Oct. 25…here on the HIMSS Blog.
Zahid Butt MD, FACG, is Chair, HIMSS NQF Taskforce.
Dr. Zahid Butt is CEO of Medisolv Inc. and has expertise in EHR-based quality measurement in both hospital and ambulatory care settings. Since 1996, he has been an active user of an ambulatory EHR in his own practice.