The availability of patient data is the most important factor affecting the use of performance measures, according to a report released by the National Quality Forum (PDF). The report—commissioned by NQF and authored by the Rand Corp.—examined a number of topics related to performance measures, including how they are currently being used and what changes could foster better use in the future.
Patient data key to use of performance measures: study
“This report is an important first step toward helping us gain a better, more systematic understanding of how NQF-endorsed measures are being used,” Janet Corrigan, NQF's president and CEO, said in a news release. “We are committed to examining where and how we can make the greatest impact in improving health and healthcare through priority setting, the increased use of performance measures and meeting measurement gaps.”
Public reporting and quality improvement were the most commonly reported uses of performance measures, according to RAND's six-month review. Process-of-care measures were the most commonly used type of measure, while access measures were the least commonly used type overall.
In addition to the availability of data, other factors affect measure use, including legislative requirements, individual organizations' quality-improvement goals, cost and measurement fatigue, the authors said in the report.
The report's respondents cited a number of potential areas for improved measures, such as care coordination, resource use, patient safety and population health. They also emphasized the need for better prioritization and public-private cooperation on measure development.
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