What’s the best way to pick which measures to use?
Your group likely has its own measurement priorities, whether for internal quality improvement or for external reporting or payment programs. In many areas, doctors, hospitals, employers, health plans, and public agencies set priorities together. States have their own needs and measurement priorities. You will also want to choose measures that align with the requirements of national programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, and with accreditation and certification agencies. Many organizations use the priorities of the National Quality Strategy, a nationwide effort to provide direction for improving the quality of health and healthcare in the US, to provide guidance on their selection of measures.
Using NQF’s Quality Positioning System, better known as QPS, a web-based tool developed by NQF to help people more easily select and use NQF-endorsed® measures, you can easily see which measures others are using and compare their interests and priorities with yours. Similarly, NQF’s Community Tool to Align Measurement compares NQF-endorsed measures in use for public reporting in 16 regions funded by the Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) program. It also lists which of those measures are in certain national programs.
With more than 650 NQF-endorsed® measures to choose from, it’s important to choose measures that will meet your unique needs. The ‘right’ measures depend on factors such as your priorities, available data, external requirements or incentives, and what you can learn from others’ experience.