Just as NQF asks the healthcare system to measure, report, monitor, and constantly improve, we strive to constantly improve our own systems, policies, and processes. We are continuously evaluating and benchmarking the steps we take and the systems we’ve established to reach our goal of higher quality healthcare in America.
In 2010, NQF focused particular attention on enhancements to the measure endorsement process including:
- Tightened Conflict of Interest Requirements. NQF developed a more comprehensive disclosure of interest form. The nominee disclosure forms are closely reviewed for potential conflict and bias by the NQF general counsel. This enhancement has reduced potential conflicts of interest but has necessitated additional time and effort to seat committees.
- Restricted Use of Time-Limited Endorsement. The use of time-limited endorsement is now restricted to non-complex measures in gap areas that are required for a time-sensitive legislative mandate, and testing results must be submitted within one year.
- Comprehensive Three-Year Project Schedule for Both Endorsement and Maintenance. The schedule of endorsement and maintenance projects has been projected over three years to provide greater lead time to Measure Developers and spread the workload more evenly over the three-year period. Reviewing both new and endorsed measures together in a topic area provides a critical opportunity to harmonize measure specifications and endorse the “best in class” measures.
Strengthen Measure Evaluation Guidance. NQF has consistently strived to improve the process for objective evaluation of measures. The work of two task forces, one on evidence grading and the other on measure testing as well as the operational guidance on harmonization are now being implemented.
2011, NQF convened a task force to review and make recommendations regarding
evaluating the criterion of Usability.
Assessment of our consensus development process. Maintaining the integrity of the Consensus Development Process (CDP) is a high priority of NQF. In 2010, NQF has contracted with a neutral third party to assess our CDP. The contractor (Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.) developed an evaluation plan, conducted a comprehensive systematic review and environmental scan of both NQF’s CDP and consensus development processes in other fields, and produced an evaluation report. The Mathematica report contained a number of recommendations for ways to improve the timeliness, efficiency and effectiveness of the CDP process. In January 2011, the final report with NQF’s responses to the recommendations was reviewed by the CSAC and made available to the public on the NQF website.
In 2011, NQF will conduct a series of webinars to help NQF Members, measure stewards, and others stay abreast of the many enhancements that have been made to the CDP. These will focus on the updated Measure Evaluation Criteria based on the two recent task force reports, the updated measure submission and evaluation forms, as well as proposed CDP enhancements. NQF is committed to ongoing process improvement, and input from our membership and the public is a critical component to ensuring the integrity and consistency of the CDP.