Policymakers will be asking developers in the health care community for help in crafting quality measurements to be used in Stage 2 of the meaningful use program.
The Quality Measures Workgroup of the Health Information Technology Policy Committee (HITPC) plans to solicit comments from stakeholders regarding quality measures. The workgroup has created a draft plan identifying areas of patient care that will require quality measurement, and hopes developers can recommend quality measures they’ve already created or are working on that fit those areas, said David Lansky, president and CEO of the Pacific Business Group on Health, and member of the workgroup.
Quality measures are one component of the meaningful use program. Providers must use quality measures to demonstrate they are meeting specific standards of care. For Stage 1, hospitals will have to report on 15 measures.
For Stage 2, those quality measures will be extended. The Quality Measures Workgroup has identified measures in the areas of patient engagement, clinical appropriateness, care coordination, safety and population health. Among the measures in the workgroup’s draft plan are determining the appropriate use of diagnostic imaging procedures, self-management plans for patients, monitoring adverse events, and tracking long-term changes to gauge patient outcomes.
By early 2011 the task force hopes to have a plan from the developers’ recommended quality measures that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, which oversees the HITPC, can take to begin gathering more specific information for ensuring that the measures’ technical requirements are incorporated into electronic health records. In addition, the workgroup is collaborating with other federal programs that target quality measurement so that no one is duplicating efforts, Lansky said during a presentation to the HITPC.