Tools and Tricks for Navigating the Quality Management Maze | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Concurrent eCQMs and abstracted CQMs Key to Good Quality Management

April 14, 2015
by Kayt Sukel
| Reprints
Click To View Gallery

Is your organization participating in a pay-for-quality program?  How much are you willing to do to meet those standards? 

Maggie Lohnes, principal at Sound Informatics, led yesterday's HIMSS15 online session, Navigating the Quality Measurement Maze, with these very questions.  (And she and co-speaker Ferdinand Velasco, CHIO of Texas Health Resources, illustrated the importance of those questions by leaving dollar bills on some seats in the front row of the auditorium and then inviting attendees to move up seats in order to receive those pay-for-quality dollars.  Unsurprisingly, only a handful did.  Because, as Velasco pointed out, it doesn't always make sense to make a big move for so little money).

It provided an interesting start to the presentation.  Lohnes emphasized that we are only in the earliest stages of leveraging the promise of electronic health records (EHRs) to meet our quality management aspirations.  And that, she argued, means that quality measurement programs are often mazes that require a well thought-out plan to successfully navigate.  As she discussed the current quality measurement ecosystem, she clearly stated that the goal of all healthcare organizations should be to get out of the maze "with the highest value measures and the lowest clinician burden."  And figuring out how to do that is an evolving process--but it's becoming more and more clear that the focus should be on sync'ing electronic and abstracted clinical quality measures, understanding that data will come from a variety of different sources in the future, and successfully translating any measue into actual value.

With such an ecosystem in mind, Velasco discussed the framework being used at Texas Health Resources to meet quality mandates.  He stated that any navigation plan requires to pay close attention to people, process, and technology.   It's not all about technology, he stated--and sometimes how well you navigate the maze depends on how good your EHR vendor is.  "Not all technology is mature," he explained.  "And we need to be mindful of that."

Based on his experience, he suggests engaging key leadership and forming an interdisciplinary working team.  And because technology isn't quite where we need it to be in terms of quality, he highly recommends developing a strategy that will support both electronically generated as well as abstrated clinical quality measures.  He also stated it can be helpful to prioritize different quality measures by defining "measurement families" that share content, logic and value sets, so similar data can be used for multiple purposes.  But, most of all, he urged attendees to aggressively engage in quality management programs in their own organizations.

"You can't sit back and be passive," he concluded.  "You have to engage and actively participate to be successful."

HIMSS15 attendees can watch Lohnes' and Velasco's presentation on demand by logging into HIMSS15 Online.

Get the latest information on Meaningful Use and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



NewYork-Presbyterian, Walgreens Partner on Telemedicine Initiative

NewYork-Presbyterian and Walgreens are collaborating to bring expanded access to NewYork-Presbyterian’s healthcare through new telemedicine services, the two organizations announced this week.

ONC Releases Patient Demographic Data Quality Framework

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) developed a framework to help health systems, large practices, health information exchanges and payers to improve their patient demographic data quality.

AMIA, Pew Urge Congress to Ensure ONC has Funding to Implement Cures Provisions

The Pew Charitable Trusts and the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) have sent a letter to congressional appropriators urging them to ensure that ONC has adequate funding to implement certain 21st Century Cures Act provisions.

Former Michigan Governor to Serve as Chair of DRIVE Health

Former Michigan Governor John Engler will serve as chair of the DRIVE Health Initiative, a campaign aimed at accelerating the U.S. health system's transition to value-based care.

NJ Medical Group Launches Statewide HIE, OneHealth New Jersey

The Medical Society of New Jersey (MSNJ) recently launched OneHealth New Jersey, a statewide health information exchange (HIE) that is now live.

Survey: 70% of Providers Using Off-Premises Computing for Some Applications

A survey conducted by KLAS Research found that 70 percent of healthcare organizations have moved at least some applications or IT infrastructure off-premises.