Setting Priorities

Community Tool to Align Measurement 

NQF's Community Tool to Align Measurement (Alignment Tool), developed in collaboration with the 16 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) community alliances, supports decisions to align measurement and public reporting. While considering local needs and priorities, states, communities, and others can use the Alignment Tool to help align efforts within and across regions, with the National Quality Strategy, as well as with national programs that involve reporting requirements or payment incentives.

Using the Tool

The Alignment Tool:

  • Compares the measures you use with others
  • Identifies measurement gaps of greatest interest and value to your region
  • Identifies measures of interest for possible alignment or expansion and learn who is already using those measures
  • Ensures you are well-positioned for public- and private-sector payment incentives 

The Alignment Tool consists of two components:

Part 1: Measure Spreadsheet (Excel)

Open the Measure Spreadsheet to find the NQF-endorsed® measures in use (as of February 2012) by one or more of the Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) Alliances in 16 regions across the country. These 171 measures are mapped to the National Quality Strategy priorities, plus national programs that involve reporting requirements or payment incentives.

View or download the Measure Spreadsheet.

Part 2: Measure Use Experience Document (PDF)

Integrated into the Measure Spreadsheet, this document provides the measurement and public reporting experiences of the AF4Q Alliances in Cincinnati, Detroit, and Maine, plus specific information about many of the measures in use in each community.

View or download the Measure Use Experience Document. 

User Guide (PDF)

A User Guide is available to help you use the Alignment Tool and explore how it can help you achieve your goals.

View or download the User Guide.

The Alignment Tool is a snapshot in time (as of February 2012) of the measures in use by the 16 AF4Q Alliances. However, within the Tool, the NQF measure numbers hyperlink to NQF's online measure search tool, the Quality Positioning System (QPS), where up-to-date measure information can be found.  You can also view and compare in QPS the lists, or ‘portfolios’ of NQF-endorsed measures in use that the AF4Q Alliances have published. A  2-page overview of the Alignment Tool has been developed to assist in communicating about the tool and how it can be used.  

To learn more watch a webinar that provides an overview of the Alignment Tool or view the webinar slides.

Next Phase

Beginning in the spring of 2012, NQF will work with at least two communities that volunteer to use the tool to align or expand their current measurement efforts. NQF will use the lessons learned during the process to help shape the Field Guide to NQF Resources, to be released in the later part of 2012.

Developing the Alignment Tool offers background on how the Alignment Tool took shape.

Help Us Learn From You

NQF is intensely interested in learning about your experiences using measurement to improve health and health care. Send us your stories and submit feedback on the Alignment Tool at