ABCs of Measurement 


Meas•ure n. A standard: a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated; “they set the measure for all subsequent work.” v. To bring into comparison against a standard.

How do we know? We measure.

How do patients know if their healthcare is good care? How do providers pinpoint the steps that need to be improved for better patient outcomes? And how do insurers and employers determine whether they are paying for the best care that science, skill, and compassion can provide? Performance measures give us a way to assess healthcare against recognized standards. While measures come from many sources, those endorsed by the National Quality Forum have become a common point of reference. An NQF endorsement reflects rigorous scientific and evidence-based review, input from patients and their families, and the perspectives of people throughout the healthcare industry. The science of measuring healthcare performance has made enormous progress over the last decade, and it continues to evolve. The high stakes demand our collective perseverance. Measures represent a critical component in the national endeavor to assure all patients of appropriate and high-quality care.

Learn the difference a good measure can make.

Download a printable version of The ABCs of Measurement (PDF).