The National Quality Forum (NQF) has endorsed 12 quality measures, promoting effective patient-centered care and effective communication in relation to the disparities and cultural competency of meeting the needs of a diverse patient population. Seven of the measures came from an American Medical Association (AMA) resource, called the “Communication Climate Assessment Toolkit.”
“Effective, patient-centered communication is critical in delivering quality healthcare, but illness, fear, low literacy and diverse languages and cultures can make it difficult for health care professionals to communicate successfully with patients,” AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, M.D., said in a statement. “We created this tool to help organizations evaluate and improve their communication with a diverse patient population, and we are proud that measures included in this toolkit have received NQF endorsement.”
The AMA submitted the toolkit to the NQF endorsement process, and NQF endorsed seven of the measures in the toolkit. “Good communication is both an ethical imperative, necessary for informed consent and effective patient engagement, and a means to avoid errors, improve quality, lower costs and achieve better health outcomes,” said Dr. Lazarus.
NQF says it can be used by hospitals and large group practices to evaluate organizational performance in communication. Assessment results provide a reliable means of tracking performance over time and guiding decisions about tailoring quality improvement interventions.