Improving NQF's Processes 


The science of measuring healthcare performance has progressed tremendously over the past decade, and continues to evolve. The desire for more transparency, faster progression in improving quality, reduction of waste, and a more patient-centered focus of care depend on the existence and implementation of quality measures. NQF understands and recognizes that to accelerate such progress; the quality community needs better measures at a faster rate.

Consensus Development Process Improvements. NQF introduced the first set of requirements for measure endorsement as the multi-step Consensus Development Process (CDP), in 2000. Since then, NQF has refined the CDP numerous times to address the evolving needs of the healthcare system. Some of these changes include:

  • Harmonization/ Related Competing Measures (2011) (PDF): The goal was to establish criteria for defining related and competing measures.
  • Consensus Task Force (2012-2013): The goals of the consensus task force was to: 1) review different approaches to establishing consensus; 2) identify strengths and weakness of the current process; and 3) recommend enhancements to the current process.
  • CDP Kaizen (2013): To reduce waste and delays across the consensus development process to ensure that NQF-endorsed® measures are available for use as soon as possible.
  • Maintenance Endorsement Process 2015 (PDF): The Restructuring NQF’s Maintenance of Endorsement Process 2015
  • New Maintenance Process (2016) (PDF): The goal was to determine if measures for maintenance of endorsement should undergo the same evaluation process as newly submitted measures.

Most recently, NQF hosted a process improvement (Kaizen) event in May of 2017, to explore opportunities for a more agile and efficient CDP for measure endorsement. During the process improvement event, NQF thoroughly examined the endorsement process, specifically focusing on how to make the process more agile and reduce the cycle time for measure submission and review. The changes, outlined in the 2017 Consensus Development Process Redesign report (PDF), reflect the outputs from the event. The NQF Consensus Development Process redesign, now, addresses these concerns, including:

  • More frequent submission opportunities
  • Intent to Submit
  • Enhancements to the measure evaluation and screening process
  • A newly-convened NQF Scientific Methods panel
  • Continuous commenting period
  • NQF member support of expression
  • Revised measure evaluation technical report
  • Increased CDP and MAP information exchange

Improved Stakeholder Training and Education. NQF is committed to the expansion and strengthening of the range of educational resources and training opportunities for all stakeholders to encourage engagement and increase stakeholder participation throughout the process. These enhancements include on-demand virtual presentations, live webinars, easy to access targeted reference documents, developer focused orientation sessions.

For more information, please contact measuremaintenance@qualityforum.org.

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