The National Quality Forum, a Washington-based partnership of organizations working to improve the reporting of healthcare performance data, this week kicked off a four-year initiative to develop standards for measuring the quality of ambulatory care.
The group received a $300,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the first, nine-month phase of the project, according to spokesperson Philip Dunn. The grant will help cover a comprehensive review of available literature on ambulatory quality issues.
"During the first nine months, we will be building a framework in which to develop a coherent strategy over the four years," Dunn says.
At the end of the four-year period, the goal of the National Quality Forum is to reach consensus on voluntary reporting standards for all stages of ambulatory care from among its nearly 200 members, which represent the entire spectrum of the healthcare industry.
"We will be working with the broadest set of stakeholders possible," according to Dunn.
Dunn says that the Leapfrog Group, a coalition of large healthcare purchasers and a member of the National Quality Forum, is among the organizations expected to participate.
As MP Stat first reported on Oct. 14, the Leapfrog Group is delaying the start of its first patient safety initiative for ambulatory care by perhaps a year because it wants to synchronize its efforts with HHS before calling for advanced ambulatory electronic medical records systems with integrated prescribing tools.
Instead, the Leapfrog Group likely will adopt an inpatient recommendation from among the National Quality Forum's list of 30 safe practices.