HIT Standards Committee: Clinical quality workgroup tackles trio of initiatives
During an HIT Clinical Quality Workgroup update this week, Janet Corrigan, chair of the HIT Standards Committee, and Floyd Eisenberg, workgroup member, provided updates on three initiatives: re-tooling of 2011 meaningful use measures, results of an environmental scan of leading healthcare systems and a National Quality Forum (NQF) Fast Track project.

The workgroup has delivered 44 re-tooled ambulatory measures in a human readable format and developed a spreadsheet containing all coding information. Lessons from the initial project will be valuable, said Eisenberg, and the group expects to be more efficient in the development of future measures.

The group plans to generate a list of common issues to help move the process forward in the future. In addition, they plan to electronically define future measurements, and an in-development authoring tool should accelerate future measure development.

An environmental scan of 12 healthcare systems showed that the clinical quality workgroup is on track with the initial measure set and pointed to an agreement between the priority measures identified by the healthcare systems and those put forth by the workgroup. Overlapping priorities for 2011 measures include HbA1C, breast cancer screening and high blood pressure. Healthcare systems shared other priorities, such as healthcare associated infection, already under consideration for the next round of re-tooling. Other concepts recommended for future measure development such as patient experience and staffing turnover require further work.

The Fast Track project is designed to inform deliberations and decisions for the fall, and help the group prepare for the selection of 2013 measures. The project will review four data sources to identify types of measures that might be appropriate for 2013: the recent environmental scan, comments on 2011 meaningful use measures, the Beacon Communities list of measures and Gretzky group recommendations.

The Gretsky group is populating a list of potential measures for 2015, and some could be backtracked to 2013, explained Corrigan. The project also will identify pathways to generate measures within the appropriate time frame.

Looking ahead, a July report will address readiness for 2013 measure development. The policy committee will meet in the fall to provide guidance to the standards committee. Unlike 2011 measures which are siloed, future measures will address the full care episode longitudinally, said Corrigan. Stay tuned.