Improving NQF's Processes 

The healthcare community is increasingly asking for transparent and faster progress in improving quality, reducing waste, and focusing on care that is more patient-centered. To accelerate such progress, the quality community recognizes the need to get to better measures faster.

NQF and others have heard this challenge, and collectively are taking steps to change our approach to measure development and endorsement to be more strategic and efficient. These include:

Consensus Development Process Improvements. In an effort to remain responsive to its stakeholders’ needs, NQF has been engaged in various ongoing efforts to improve and refine the Consensus Development Process (CDP). Volunteer, multi-stakeholder steering committees are the central component of the endorsement process, and the success of the CDP projects is due in large part to the participation of its steering committee members.

Ongoing Standing Committee Activities

To address these weaknesses in the CDP, NQF began transitioning to the use of standing committees for CDPs in 2013 with the goal of seating a standing committee for each of the 22 topic areas. These standing committees oversee the various measure portfolios; this oversight function will include evaluating both newly-submitted and previously-endorsed measures against NQF's measure evaluation criteria, identifying gaps in the measurement portfolio, providing feedback on how the portfolio should evolve, and serving on any ad hoc or expedited projects within their designated topic areas.

During the periods in which no measures are being reviewed, or the “off cycle”, a standing committee is available for ad hoc measure reviews, to serve as clinical or technical experts for other standing bodies (e.g., MAP or cross cutting areas like cost and resource use measurement), for collaboration with measure developers on gap filling, and for thoughtful discussion and activities on prospecting for new measures and addressing strategic measurement issues in the topic area. In order to enable ongoing engagement of committee members throughout their two (or three) year terms, NQF will host quarterly, two-hour web meetings or conference calls for each standing committee during the off-cycle timeframe as needed.

Topics areas are not limited but may include:

  • “How to be a productive Standing Committee member”
  • The Importance of the Measure Applications Partnership (MAP)
  • Developer/Committee collaborative
  • “A Dummies Guide to the Scientific Acceptability criterion”

Since then, NQF has implemented many changes for our CDP process, including our process for re-evaluating Maintenance measures. Please see Restructuring NQF’s Maintenance of Endorsement Process 2015 (PDF) for the most up to date changes to our Maintenance process.

For more information, please contact

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