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Better but fewer metrics, please

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Christine Cassel, M.D., president and chief executive of the National Quality Forum, said the healthcare-quality movement’s biggest challenge is to “reduce the noise and increase the signal strength” of measures  to assess  individual hospitals and healthcare systems. She said that healthcare has gone from having too few quality measures to having too many.

Given that, as well as the accelerating  shift to value-based payment models, “it is even more important that we get the measures right,” she said.

Dr. Cassel said that is that many metrics need more science behind them.

Her biggest goals for the NQF, as reported in FierceHealthcare:

  • “Align quality measures among all payers.
  • “Identify more actionable, meaningful measures.
  • Achieve greater consistency and rigor with consumer information.
  • “Leverage new technology and big data to identify and assess quality metrics.
  • “Make sure measure reflect actual clinical quality, not factors like socioeconomic status that are out of health systems’ control.
  • “Attribute results to specific providers.
  • “Improve consumer engagement. ”


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