Here is another post in our series on quality from the HIMSS NQF Task Force. Jonathan French, HIMSS Director, Health Information Systems.
by Karen Knecht, RN, Member, HIMSS NQF Task Force
The National Quality Forum is developing tools to streamline and support the measurement and public reporting of quality data to improve healthcare. A variety of ways now exist for communities to measure and publicly report about the quality of local health care. As a result, making direct, meaningful quality comparisons across communities is a challenge.
Two NQF initiatives will offer guidance to those interested in starting or expanding their public reporting efforts to align with each other and, when applicable, with national priorities and incentive programs.
NQF’s Community Public Reporting Framework (“Dashboard”), an initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), will be a framework of high priority measurement categories and related list of NQF-endorsed® measures already in use by one or more communities. When completed, the Dashboard will help identify, for interested communities, areas to consider aligning, in the context of what they choose to measure and report based on their regional interests.
In October 2010, a multi-stakeholder group met and arrived at a set of measurement categories and sub-categories to be included in the Dashboard. In January 2011, NQF released a report documenting the first phase of this project and findings from the workshop, including the proposed dashboard framework.
In early 2011, NQF initiated a pilot phase to review the framework proposed by the multi-stakeholder group, map the measures to the Dashboard categories and sub-categories, and help shape the Dashboard’s overall content. After the first Dashboard appears in 2011, NQF intends to work with one or more additional communities that volunteer to use the Dashboard to align or expand their current measurement efforts
A second tool, the Quality Positioning System (QPS), was released in beta version in September 2011. This measure search tool will allow users to more easily find NQF-endorsed® measures, explore ways to use those measures and learn about others’ quality measurement and improvement initiatives.
Each measure within QPS has a description of the numerator and denominator and any exclusions, as well as the name of the measure developer, its endorsement date, whether it has been risk-adjusted, and whether eMeasures are available for the measure. Users can select up to three measures at a time for side-by-side comparison.
Additionally, QPS will allow users to create their own lists of NQF-endorsed measures in customized “portfolios” to fit specific interests or needs, share portfolios with others, and view and copy portfolios that others have generated. This function helps users see others’ real-world application of measures in public reporting and other programs.
Karen Knecht, RN, Practice Executive at Encore Health resources has over 28 years of healthcare operations and healthcare technology experience. Her particular focus is on how clinical computing technologies can deliver healthcare providers the critical information required to provide a safer, more effective patient care environment.