Critical Path Network: AHRQ launches web site to aid in quality measure

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has launched a web-based National Quality Measures Clearinghouse (NQMC) designed to be a one-stop shop for hospitals, physicians, health plans, and others interested in quality measures.

It contains evidence-based quality measures and measure sets available to evaluate and improve the quality of health care. The clearinghouse should be helpful as hospitals work to identify scientifically valid quality measures for hospitals as part of the National Hospital Quality Information Initiative, according to Nancy Foster, the American Hospital Association’s senior associate director for health policy.

The initiative will start with 10 common measures approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations; and the National Quality Forum. Each domain of measurement in NQMC, access, outcome, patient experience, and process, offers a different insight into health care quality, according to information on the site. An access measure, for example, assesses the patient's attainment of timely and appropriate health care, while a patient experience measure aggregates reports of patients about their observations of and participation in health care.

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