Measuring Performance

Scientific Methods Panel 

NQF's Scientific Methods Panel

NQF is transforming in significant ways to become a more agile and responsive organization. A key area in which NQF is implementing significant changes is in its measure endorsement process. The goal is to make measure endorsement more efficient, foster innovation, and expand access to NQF and standing committee members’ expertise. A significant change is that NQF established a Scientific Methods Panel to conduct scientific methodological evaluations of submitted measures, in conjunction with NQF staff.

The changes, outlined in the 2017 Consensus Development Process Redesign report (PDF), reflect feedback from a recent process improvement event during which key stakeholders examined how NQF endorses measures and identified opportunities to make the process more agile and reduce the cycle time for measure submission and evaluation. Participants suggested shifting the scientific, methodological evaluation of measures to a Scientific Methods Panel and NQF staff to allow consumers, patients, purchasers, and other members of NQF standing committees to focus on bringing their expertise to the subject matter under consideration and be more engaged throughout the evaluation process.

Composition and Charge

The Scientific Methods Panel (PDF) consists of 28 individuals with methodological expertise who will provide NQF standing committees with evaluations of submitted measures’ Scientific Acceptability (specifically, the “must-pass” subcriteria of reliability and validity), using NQF’s standard measure evaluation criteria for new and maintenance measures. Panel members are appointed to an initial two- or three-year term, with an optional three-year term to follow.

The panel’s feedback will be critical input for standing committees’ endorsement recommendations, especially for complex measures such as outcome measures, instrument-based measures (e.g., PRO-PMs), cost/resource use measures, efficiency measures, and composite measures.

In addition to evaluating submitted measures for scientific acceptability in NQF’s measure endorsement process, the Scientific Methods Panel will serve in an advisory capacity to NQF on methodologic issues related to measure testing, risk adjustment, and measurement approaches. As measures have become more complex, a myriad of issues have emerged related to measure testing, data sources, and assessment of reliability and validity. The panel will help to ensure that NQF’s testing requirements adjust to the growing complexity of measures and measurement approaches.

Review the Scientific Methods Panel Evaluation Guidance (PDF).

Next Scientific Methods Panel Meeting

Advisory Meeting, March 10

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