Healthcare organizations, practitioners, purchasers, oversight bodies and the public all rely on performance data for quality improvement, performance evaluation and to make informed healthcare decisions. Yet, most performance measurement efforts operate in isolation from one another, rarely providing a consistent picture of overall quality and representing a significant cost to the healthcare industry, according to a call for action released by the Joint Commission.
The Commission’s white paper, “Development of a National Performance Measurement Data Strategy,” proposes a framework for creating a data infrastructure to support performance measurement activities that improve the quality of U.S. healthcare.
The strategy, proposed by a Commission roundtable, focused on creating a data infrastructure that addresses consumer expectations for data privacy, supporting a data highway that allows for data sharing and linkages and operating under an agreed-upon set of rules and governance structure.
“The time has come to harness the many performance measurement efforts by creating a data infrastructure so information can be shared and translated into powerful tools for decision-making and improvement,” said Mark R. Chassin, MD. “Although there are significant challenges, the work of the roundtable clearly shows that this is a matter of will. We must invest the necessary resources and engage in a collaborative effort to provide credible, accurate and useful healthcare performance information.”
The Commission’s expert roundtable offers 22 principles for the development of a national performance measurement data strategy and identifies the following three broad strategies to guide national performance measurement efforts:
- Create a framework for a national performance measurement system that meets the needs of the various users of, and stakeholders in, performance data by standardizing measure definitions and data collection processes.
- Build a data highway to support the exchange of health information whose interoperability permits data exchange and aggregation when warranted.
- Engage stakeholders and engender trust by addressing concern over the privacy of personal health information.