The American Hospital Association is urging the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to include providers in the field-testing and development of health information technology-enabled quality measures.
In an eight-page letter (PDF), submitted in response to an AHRQ request for information, the AHA said providers and vendors had struggled with the quality measurements they were required to document electronically as part of the first phase of the federal government's electronic health-record system incentive program. The AHA contended that many of the quality measures that were retooled into e-measures for Stage 1 meaningful use required labor-intensive documentation not easily captured by an EHR.
"Much of the data for the inpatient measures comes from physician documentation that is currently in written or dictated notes," the AHA said in the letter. They also include "concepts not easily captured in structured format," the AHA said, such as the last time the patient was known to be well.
The AHA argued that the National Quality Forum should field-test and endorse all electronic quality measures separately to ensure that the data is reliable and easy to capture.
"If automated quality measurement is to become widely used, it is more important to get a small number of measures right before moving on to more measures or moving too quickly," the AHA said.