NQF Endorses Patient Safety Measures 

JAN 17, 2012

CONTACT: Erin Weireter

NQF Endorses Patient Safety Measures

Washington, DC – The National Quality Forum (NQF) Board of Directors has approved for endorsement four patient safety measures focused on healthcare-associated infections.

Preventable medical errors in the United States cause injuries in as many as one out of every 25 hospital patients and lead to an estimated 44,000-98,000 deaths annually, and cost $17-29 billion per year in healthcare expenses, lost work productivity, and disability. These new measures will help ensure that NQF’s portfolio continues to support efforts to improve patient safety across the healthcare spectrum.

Notably, as part of this project, two similar and competing surgical site infection measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS) were reviewed; the CDC measure has been in use since 2005 and the ACS measure since 2004 in the private sector. With NQF support, the CDC and ACS worked to combine two competing measures into one.

This measure now is applicable to and comparable across surgeons and hospitals. Stewardship of the measure going forward will be jointly maintained by CDC and ACS.

“This public-private collaboration between CDC and ACS truly is an accomplishment to be celebrated,” said Janet Corrigan, PhD, MBA, president and CEO of NQF. “The organizations have worked diligently over the past few months to harmonize competing surgical site infection measures into a single measure that can be used across providers and hospitals. The resulting measure importantly offers clarity for consumers and others seeking to make informed decisions, and will also lessen provider reporting burden. Harmonization takes time, but it yields very important benefits for the healthcare field.”   

NQF is a voluntary consensus standards-setting organization. Any party may request reconsideration of any of the four endorsed patient safety measures listed below by submitting an appeal no later than Wednesday, February 15. To submit an appeal, please visit 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.

Patient Safety Measures  

0138: Risk adjusted urinary tract infection outcome measure (ACS)

0139: National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) outcome measure (CDC)

0752: National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) Outcome (CDC)

0753: American College of Surgeons – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ACS-CDC) Harmonized Procedure Specific Surgical Site Infection (SSI) Outcome Measure

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.