National Quality Forum advances healthcare quality with new guidance on designing measure sets and measurement systems 

AUG 05, 2020

CONTACT: Proof Strategies

National Quality Forum advances healthcare quality with new guidance on designing measure sets and measurement systems
Diverse panel of experts established a North Star for guiding the design and evaluation of quality reporting and measurement

Washington, DC
– National Quality Forum’s (NQF) new report, Measure Sets and Measurement Systems: Multistakeholder Guidance for Design and Evaluation, builds upon the recent Hospital Star Quality Rating Summit and tradition of taking on emerging national health needs that demand comprehensive approaches across sectors. NQF’s panel of 25 diverse healthcare experts tackled the lack of an established process for assessing how individual quality measures work together by providing clarity on how measures can be combined in a system to improve health outcomes and drive high value care for all.

Using existing standards for developing and selecting individual measures, NQF worked collaboratively to establish a method to assess how measures can best work together.

“This is how we drive the next generation of quality improvement,” said Shantanu Agrawal, MD, MPhil, president and CEO, National Quality Forum. “If we want to empower patients and other healthcare users to make informed decisions, measure sets and measurement systems must ensure valid assessments of quality and reliable results. This report draws on our collective expertise to define the components of sets and systems that must be transparent and also proposes standardized approaches to assess their design. With clarity on evaluation and impact, we can work together to improve the quality of healthcare for all.”

NQF brought together patients, patient advocates, purchasers, public and private payers, clinicians, provider groups, measure developers and implementers, statisticians, and health services researchers with the common goal of ensuring that measure sets and measurement systems produce accurate and measurable impact.

The proposed methodology builds upon the use of individual measures to assess quality, safety, and person-centered care; emphasizes goals at the outset; ensures the set and system is sound and aligned; and, engages diverse stakeholders in the discussion to make sure that measurement systems provide accurate data about quality of care.

NQF intends to field test the approaches with developers and stakeholders to ensure that the guidance can be used to design valid assessments and produce better outcomes.

“Serving all patients with quality care is even more essential as our healthcare system contends with complex challenges, such as COVID-19 and its lasting impact,” said Agrawal. “We are indebted to our members, partners, and Technical Expert Panel for supporting this work and for demonstrating yet again that NQF is the forum for tackling emerging national health needs that demand comprehensive approaches across sectors.”

Visit the National Quality Forum to access the report in full.


About National Quality Forum
The National Quality Forum (NQF) works with members of the healthcare community to drive measurable health improvements together. NQF is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization that gives all healthcare stakeholders a voice in advancing quality measures and improvement strategies that lead to better outcomes and greater value. Learn more at