3 Roadblocks to Effective Quality Measure Management

On July 26, the National Quality Forum hosted a webinar titled "Measure Registry Needs Assessment Project — Exploration of Current Systems and Approaches for Measure Information Management." In addition to NQF, the webinar included presentations from The Joint Commission, CMS' Health Services Advisory Group, Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the ECRI Institute and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

NQF hosted the webinar as part of its involvement in HHS' Measure Registry Needs Assessment Project, which aims to determine opportunities for developing a single system or approach to collecting, storing and accessing measure information.

Each presenter shared its organization's approach to managing measure information and making it available to users. The presenters shared the benefits and challenges of their systems.

Here are three of the challenges presenters identified:

1. Managing updates. Ann Clancy, a member of CMS' Health Services Advisory Group, said one of the challenges of the organization's Measures Management Tool is managing updates to measures and specifications, as they are ongoing. The Measures Management Tool is a central storage of all CMS measures, and is used to inform quarterly CMS inventory reports, program-specific reports and other documents.

2. Versioning. Vivian H. Coates, MBA, vice president of information services and health technology assessment at ECRI Institute, said managing the different versions of measures is a challenge for the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse. NQMC is a database and website hosted by AHRQ that provides access to information on evidence-based quality measures and measure sets. There are different versions of measures, such as NQF-endorsed versions and versions in current use, which complicates the storage and management of quality measures.

3. Standardizing names. Steven M. Wright, director of epidemiology at the VA Office of Quality and Performance, said standardizing measure names and mnemonics is a challenge for the Performance Integrated Tracking Application. PITA is part of the VA Measure Management System, and includes information on performance measures, including their technical specifications and administrative attributes. Mr. Wright said sometimes facilities modify national measures but not change the name/mnemonic.

More Articles on Quality Measures:

10 Changes to Quality Reporting Programs
ASCA Publishes Quality Measure Reporting FAQs

The New CMS Quality Reporting System and What a Center Needs to Do to Prepare

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