NQF Endorses Complications-Related Patient Safety Measures 

JUN 19, 2012

CONTACT: Erin Weireter, NQF

NQF Endorses Complications-Related Patient Safety Measures

Washington, DC – the National Quality Forum (NQF) Board of Directors has endorsed 14 patient safety measures with a focus on complications. The measures address a range of quality concerns, including medication safety, venous thromboembolism, surgical safety, and care coordination.

“Improving patient safety is a cornerstone of NQF’s mission to advance healthcare quality,” said Janet Corrigan, PhD, MBA, president and CEO of NQF. “We are proud to endorse this set of measures that will be vital in helping providers protect patients from harm and deliver safer, high-quality care.”

Medical errors and unsafe care kill tens of thousands of Americans each year. For example, an estimated two million healthcare-associated infections occur each year in the United States, accounting for approximately 90,000 deaths.

“Preventable errors in healthcare are costing Americans in a number of ways, whether in premiums, lost work time and wages, or undue stress and anxiety for patients and families,” said William A. Conway, MD, senior vice president and chief quality officer at Henry Ford Health System and co-chair of the Patient Safety – Complications Steering Committee. “This measure set will ensure the healthcare community has the right measurement tools to help alleviate these burdens and provide patients with high-quality care.”

The measures include only those that have been endorsed for at least three years and are now undergoing NQF endorsement maintenance. The ongoing evaluation and updating of endorsed measures ensures they are current and relevant to NQF’s patient safety portfolio. In all, 27 measures were evaluated against NQF’s endorsement criteria, with 14 receiving endorsement status. Three measures are still under consideration.

“These measures are an important part of the NQF measure portfolio,” said Pamela Cipriano, PhD, RN, senior director at Galloway Consulting and co-chair of the Patient Safety Measures steering committee. “They help providers examine adverse events and increase accountability to implement improvements that will protect patients and enable the safe, high-quality, and compassionate care they deserve.”

NQF is a voluntary consensus standards-setting organization. Any party may request reconsideration of any of the 14 endorsed quality measures listed below by submitting an appeal no later than July 18 (to submit an appeal, go to the NQF Measure Database). For an appeal to be considered, the notification must include information clearly demonstrating that the appellant has interests directly and materially affected by the NQF-endorsed recommendations and that the NQF decision has had (or will have) an adverse effect on those interests.

Endorsed Measures 

  • 0022: Use of High Risk Medications in the Elderly (NCQA) 
  • 0372: Intensive Care Unit Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis (Joint Commission)
  • 0373: Venous Thromboembolism Patients with Anticoagulant Overlap Therapy (Joint Commission)
  • 0450: Postoperative Pulmonary Embolism or Deep Vein Thrombosis Rate (PSI 12) (AHRQ)
  • 0267: Wrong Site, Wrong Side, Wrong Patient, Wrong Procedure, Wrong Implant (Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Collaboration)
  • 0344: Accidental Puncture or Laceration Rate (PDI 1) (AHRQ)
  • 0345: Accidental Puncture or Laceration Rate (PSI 15) (AHRQ)
  • 0362: Foreign Body left after procedure (PDI 3) (AHRQ)
  • 0363: Foreign Body Left During Procedure (PSI 5) (AHRQ)
  • 0263: Patient Burn (Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Collaboration)
  • 0346: Iatrogenic Pneumothorax Rate (PSI 6) (AHRQ)
  • 0348: Iatrogenic Pneumothorax Rate (PDI 5) (AHRQ)
  • 0349: Transfusion Reaction (PSI 16) (AHRQ) (reserve status)
  • 0350: Transfusion Reaction (PDI 13) (AHRQ) (reserve status) 

NQF operates under a three-part mission to improve the quality of American healthcare by: 

  • building consensus on national priorities and goals for performance improvement and working in partnership to achieve them; 
  • endorsing national consensus standards for measuring and publicly reporting on performance; and 
  • promoting the attainment of national goals through education and outreach programs.