Physicians at Johns Hopkins University have recommended a framework for developing and evaluating a patient-safety scorecard, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Healthcare practitioners must create scorecards based on scientifically sound measuressomething that is difficult to do because the science involved in measuring patient safety remains "immature," said Peter Pronovost, medical director of the Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care and an assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology/Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins University's School of Medicine, in his JAMA commentary.
Pronovost, who also is involved with two national patient-safety organizationsthe Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Leapfrog Groupsuggested thinking of quality reporting like financial reporting, with rules-trained staff, auditing and accountability. "Quality reporting lacks these," he said in an e-mail.
Scorecards should ask three questions: whether a measure is important, valid and can be used to improve safety, Pronovost said in the commentary. In addition, they should provide enough information to allow readers to determine any inherent reporting biases, he said.