NQF Updates Roadmap Designed to Amplify Patient Voice in Digital Healthcare Quality Measures 

NOV 30, 2022

CONTACT: Zachary Brousseau

NQF Updates Roadmap Designed to Amplify Patient Voice in Digital Healthcare Quality Measures
Updated Technical Guidance gives measure developers a roadmap to create patient-centric measures that assess the quality of care

Washington, DC – The National Quality Forum (NQF) has released an updated Technical Guidance Report to support measure developers in creating patient-reported outcome performance measures (PRO-PMs), which are critical to elevating the patient voice in assessments of healthcare quality. PRO-PMs use feedback gathered directly from patients to evaluate health outcomes and the quality of care provided by hospitals, health plans, and clinicians. The measures quantify changes over time in how patients are feeling and functioning, and thus, give essential information about health outcomes and a basis for developing evidence-based care.

The updated report comes as part of NQF’s Building a Roadmap From Patient-Reported Outcome Measures to Patient-Reported Outcome Performance Measures initiative, funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Known as “the Roadmap,” the report is designed to serve as both a resource for measure developers and a catalyst for building a more robust database of digital PRO-PMs that will ultimately elevate patient voices and prioritize outcomes that matter most to patients.

NQF, CMS, and other organizations offer comprehensive resources on measure development, yet guidance specific to developing digital PRO-PMs remains limited. The Roadmap addresses this barrier by providing the needed guidance to support measure developers who are creating digital PRO-PMs that can be used in CMS’ value-based purchasing (VBP) programs and alternative payment models (APMs). Although NQF’s Roadmap focuses specifically on digital PRO-PMs, which use data gathered electronically, its guidance is generally applicable to all PRO-PMs.

“Public and private healthcare entities have long wanted quality measures to promote and reward patient-centered care. PRO-PMs are key to these efforts, yet currently make up less than 7 percent of NQF-endorsed quality measures,” said Dana Gelb Safran, ScD, President & CEO, NQF. “This Roadmap is an essential resource to advance the development of digital PRO-PMs by helping measure developers navigate the complex development process.”

The Roadmap provides thorough yet accessible guidance on developing digital PRO-PMs, and will be useful to both novice and advanced measure developers. It serves as a primer on the process, compiling existing resources on measure development, endorsement, and interoperability, and framing them through the lens of patient-reported performance measurement. Measure developers can use the Roadmap to design, develop, and test PRO-PMs that are meaningful to patients, aligned with best practices, appropriate for regulatory purposes, usable by public and private payers, and consistent with scientific standards.

The guide takes developers through four stages of the PRO-PM development process, from conceptualization through implementation. The stages – Definition of Measurement Goals, Exploration and Assessment of PROMs, Development and Testing of the PRO-PM, and Finalization and Implementation – are further broken down into 17 distinct tasks detailed in the Roadmap.

This iteration of the Technical Guidance updates and adds to the previous version published in November 2021. This updated Roadmap was informed by a Technical Expert Panel (PDF) convened by NQF, and a series of key informant interviews with measurement and interoperability experts. 



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 www.qualityforum.org.