• The National Quality Forum is advancing the quality of care for people with serious illness through a multi-year initiative funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

    Serious illness is a condition that carries a high risk of mortality and either negatively effects a person’s daily function or quality of life, or excessively strains their caregivers. Serious illnesses can include heart failure, cancer, dementia, or many other conditions. Older adults, in particular, are vulnerable to developing a serious illness given the increased prevalence of chronic disease and multi-morbidity in the older adult population. As conditions progress or additional conditions develop, the medical and social needs of the individual become greater in number and intensity. Increasingly, providers are caring for individuals with serious illness in a variety of settings—including clinics, home-based services, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities—and integrating medical and social services to address the many complex needs of seriously ill individuals and their caregivers. Measuring the quality of care delivered by these providers is necessary to ensure the care delivered meets seriously ill individuals’ various needs, aligns with their goals and preferences, and achieves the outcomes that are important to the individual and their caregivers.




    NQF’s Serious Illness Initiative advanced the quality of care delivered to seriously ill individuals through three major activities: 

    1. Convened a Serious Illness Quality Measurement Committee.The Committee is part of the Center to Advance Palliative Care’s Serious Illness Quality Alignment Hub. The Committee's charge was to (1) -identify existing quality measures that can assess the quality care delivered to seriously ill individuals and (2) recommend approaches for addressing the measure gaps that exist within the field of serious illness.
    2. Hosted a series of Serious Illness Measurement Strategy Sessions. NQF hosted three measurement strategy sessions over the course of the Initiative. For each Strategy Session, a group of experts met in-person to examine a specific measure gap or challenge related to serious illness quality measurement. The group developed recommendations for addressing the measure gap or overcoming the measurement challenge. These recommendations are published on the Serious Illness Quality Alignment Hub and the Serious Illness Project Page.
    3. Developed and released an Issue Brief focused on opportunities for advancing quality measurement in community-based serious illness care. The Issue Brief includes recommendations, preferred tools and approaches, and current measures available for use, in development, or proposed to fill measurement gaps, including several high-priority measure concepts addressing functional assessment and caregiver strain and resilience. The Issue Brief is available online.

    If you have any questions about NQF’s Serious Illness Initiative, please visit the Serious Illness Project Page or contact the Serious Illness Care Project Team at qualityinnovation@qualityforum.org.

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