HIT Standards Committee: Clinical Quality Workgroup to emerge from hibernation?

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The Clinical Quality Workgroup of the Health IT Standards Committee under the Department of Health and Human Services is now in a “hibernation period," said Janet Corrigan, MD, chair and president of the National Quality Forum, speaking at the HIT Standards Committee's July meeting.

Nevertheless, the workgroup is working to pull together information extracurricularly that will be useful to the Health IT Policy Committee addressing future meaningful use stage criteria in its September meeting, Corrigan said.

NQF pulled together a group of thought leaders dubbed "the Gretzky Group" who have created a framework to identify high-priority areas for measurements for the purpose of disseminating to HHS and the HIT Policy Committee, Corrigan noted. The second dimension of that framework is patient-focused episodes, she said.

“The idea is we need to have measures that address critical cross-cutting areas like care coordination … and safety that drive toward parsimony of measures because they apply to all types of patients,” said Corrigan.

Tracing a patient’s journey over time is an important measure for looking at exchange of clinical information among providers, Corrigan stated. The report from the Gretzy Group's effort will be forwarded to HHS in the next two weeks with the hopes that it will be useful internally to the department, she said.

“We anticipate after the Policy Committee [does] this work in September, it will provide guidance back to this committee and we can then bring the Clinical Quality Workgroup out of hibernation,” Corrigan concluded.