The U.S. has no standardized system in place with which to measure healthcare quality for children and adolescents, according to the conclusions of a 16-member expert committee charged with evaluating measures of pediatric health.
Panel finds pediatric quality measures, data lacking
In an Institute of Medicine study released Monday, the committee argued that such quality measures can provide reliable information about the health status of children, particularly those in vulnerable population subgroups or regions. But because there is no one data source that provides information on pediatric quality indicators, researchers and policymakers must rely on a piecemeal approach, gathering data from a variety of different places to assess children's health.
“The committee concludes that a lack of standardization in key areas—such as race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, primary language spoken at home and parental English proficiency—limits the ability of those who use data to identify, monitor and address persistent health and healthcare disparities among children and adolescents,” the authors wrote in the study.
The committee members advocated a five-step approach, which includes setting shared health goals for children throughout the country, creating new measures and data sources in priority areas, and improving reporting and data collection methods.
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