Understanding Quality Reporting/Performance Measurement

by Amy Thorpe, MBA, PMP, FHIMSS                                                                                          Member, HIMSS NQF Taskforce

Welcome back to the HIMSS NQF (National Quality Forum) Blog.  As Dr. Zahid Butt MD, Chair of the HIMSS NQF Taskforce explained in last week’s post, our goal is to give you timely information about NQF activities and projects, especially those related to health information technology.

The world of quality reporting and performance measurement has grown more complex over the past 10 years since the introduction of quality reporting for hospitals and physicians.  There are many stakeholders working on various and interrelated projects and initiatives. 

At the heart of these initiatives is the desire to improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. But, the reality is – many providers are struggling to navigate the confusing web of acronyms and programs. The major theme common to all these initiatives is the move away from sample-based measure abstraction to an electronic format for collection and transmission of quality measure data

This shift really gets to the heart of the changing landscape for quality reporting. Currently, in the program for hospital inpatients, providers must submit quality measures on a sample of patients, not every single inpatient that is admitted. Data for these patients is gathered by abstractors who read the patients’ paper charts, look for pieces of information and manually type them into a database used to transmit the data to CMS.

In the future, this will change.

For meaningful use, front-line caregivers in the certified system must collect ALL data. Having abstractors go behind after the fact and transcribe information from the paper record will not be accessible. 

This will have many implications for the screen and workflow design changes that must be implemented in clinical systems used by front-line caregivers.  As more data becomes available electronically, providers will be better able to share data and collaborate more effectively to improve performance and outcomes.

Over the next 12 weeks, we will be discussing in more detail a range of NQF programs and quality topics.  Listed below is a tentative schedule of topics that will be posted each Tuesday:

  • Tues., 10/25: National Quality Forum and Task Force Project Overview
  • Tues., 11/1: Retooling Paper-Based Measures for eMeasures
  • Tues., 11/8: eMeasure Format Review Panel
  • Tues., 11/19: Health IT Expert Panel and Quality Data Model (QDM)
  • Tues., 11/22: NQF Measure Authoring Tool
  • Tues., 11/29: NQF Dashboard and Quality Positioning System (QPS)
  • Tues, 12/6:  Clinical Decision Support (CDS)
  • Tues, 12/13: Health IT User Expert Panel (HITUEP)
  • Tues., 1/3:  National Quality Strategy
  • Tues., 1/10: Partnership for Patients
  • Tues., 1/24: CMS Innovation Center
  • Tues., 1/31: Accountable Care Organizations

Thank you for your interest in HIMSS and the NQF.  Share your quality report insights with me here on the HIMSS Blog.

Amy Thorpe MBA, PMP, FHIMSS, is a Consultant with Encore Health Resources in the Clinical Advisory Service. She is the past chair of the HIMSS Enterprise Information Systems (EIS) committee and has served on several other HIMSS workgroups.

This entry was posted in HIMSS Events, Patient-Centered Systems. Bookmark the permalink.

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