The National Quality Forum has added 10 standards for hospital-based emergency department care, 17 perinatal-care measures, eight outpatient-imaging efficiency measures and two hospital readmission measures to the group's national voluntary consensus standards program. The standards are intended to improve accountability, efficiency and appropriateness, and quality across the various areas of care.
In addition, the standards-development organization endorsed a Web-based toolkit that collects race, ethnicity and language data from patients. The toolkit, designed by the Health Research & Educational Trust, is part of the NQF's ongoing project to approve a framework for addressing cultural competency among providers.
The NQF now has about 500 standards endorsed through the program. -- by Jean DerGurahian