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Quality Measure Tracking Made Easier

September 28, 2011
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NQF’s new Quality Positioning System simplifies searching and compiling measures

After a year and a half of development, the National Quality Forum (NQF) unveiled at a webinar yesterday (Sept. 27) the beta-version of their Quality Positioning System (QPS) that is a new quality measure search and collaboration tool. The tool allows clinical professionals, and the public alike, to easily find NQF-endorsed measures, share information about measures, learn about others’ measurement and reporting efforts, and stay informed about changes in endorsement status.

“One of reasons I’m confident it can bring value is because it had the end-user in mind throughout the development of the tool, and we continually sought feedback from users,” said Anne Weiss, team director, Robert Wood Johnson. “I think the tool really serves a great purpose.” Users of the beta tool are encouraged to continue to submit feedback to help improve functionality.

The tool also shows information like when the quality measure was last updated; details like numerator and denominator specifics and exclusions; and the steward of the measure. In the future, NQF wants to include more detailed specifications, but for now the quality measures are owned by the steward who has control of the information.

“We need a tool that serves a very broad range of users [with different levels of] familiarity and expertise with measures, and QPS seems to really cater to that broad range,” said Weiss.

Users of the tool can also print measures, export them into other file formats like Excel, add measures to a portfolio, compare measures and portfolios, and provide feedback on measures. “The portfolio function was really intriguing to us because this is the first time we’re able to share information about measures and get the word out about the important work we’re doing, and learn from others about measures,” said Lisa Mason, AF4Q project director, Greater Detroit Area Health Council.

“To the extent that people create portfolios, and we can search through the QPS tool to know how widely [the measure] is being used and to be able to contact people to find out what their experiences have been with it,” said Mason. “There’s a lot of potential to learn from each other. Weiss added that users could create a copy of an existing portfolio to make it easier to start, and then add or delete measures from there.

NQF also has an eMeasure authoring tool, which allows the creation of an electronic or code version of the measure, so it can be embedded in an EHR to allow for easier reporting in an electronic format. “Over time our intention is that all NQF-endorsed measures will eventually be available as an eMeasure format as well,” said Diane Stollenwerk, vice president of community alliances, NQF.

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