Measuring Performance

Population Health Measures Project - Phase 2 

Project Status: Completed

Population Health Measures Endorsement Maintenance - Phase 2

Access the Endorsement Summary (PDF) |Access the Full Report 

Final Commissioned Paper: An Environmental Scan of Integrated Approaches for Defining and Measuring Total Population Health 

The Opportunity

Population health is generally understood as a systems-level concept that describes health outcomes as measured through a broad spectrum of public health, clinical care, and socio-economic determinants. Population health not only focuses on disease across multiple sectors, but also health and wellbeing, prevention and health promotion. Identifying valid and reliable measures of performance across these multiple sectors can be challenging. Data collection, health assessments at individual and aggregate levels, payment structures, quality of patient care and public health interventions, and other components present challenges in shaping widespread, standardized implementation of population health measures, but overcoming these challenges is critical to any strategy to understand and improve it.

Given the multi-dimensional focus of population health, developing activities to strengthen the measurement and analysis of population health trends can be best accomplished using a collaborative approach that includes public health, healthcare delivery systems, and other key sectors whose policies influence health; inadequate preventive and behavioral choices can have significant negative impact on health outcomes and economic stability, and these along with other determinants contribute to sixty percent of American deaths. The Population Health project seeks to expand NQF’s portfolio of preventive services and broader population health measures.

About the Project

The Population Health project is being conducted in two phases. The first phase focuses on provider-level preventive services and immunization measures. Phase 2 will assess population level measures. This phase leads with foundational work in population health, including an environmental scan of existing measures and gap analysis.

The scan will be an integral part of a commissioned paper that will outline a set of principles regarding population health measures, including an analytic framework for assessing and measuring population-level measures; guidance on the application of NQF's evaluation criteria for population health measures; and identify priority areas for measurement and quality improvement. The environmental scan and commissioned paper will inform the Call for Population Health Measures and evaluation.

Project Funding

This project is funded under NQF’s contract with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Related NQF Work

Population Health: Prevention Endorsement Maintenance 

Contact Information

For further information, contact Elisa Munthali, MPH, at 201-783-1300 or via email

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