NQF posts electronic measures specifications

CIOs looking for assistance in monitoring and comparing outcomes and provider performance through electronic health records (EHRs) may get an assist soon with the National Quality Forum's (NQF) conversion of 113 of its endorsed measures from a paper-based format to an electronic "eMeasure" format.

The conversion, which was requested by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in compliance with the HITECH Act, is designed to allow the measures to be more easily readable by EHR systems. The 113 converted measures currently are available for public and member comment through April 1.

According to the NQF, the use of eMeasures will offer other benefits and efficiencies, as well, such as providing greater consistency in measuring and comparing performance results; giving more exact requirements about where information should be collected; and providing greater standardization across the measures.

The conversion also should ensure that performance measure data are consistently defined, implemented, and usable in the context of an EHR and support the meaningful use requirements, NQF stated.

The new eMeasures represent "the future of quality improvement," said Janet M. Corrigan, NQF's president and CEO, in a statement. "They are core to successful implementation of incentive programs to reward meaningful use of HIT. But even more importantly, eMeasures will enable a system where measurement is automated and quality data are available at the point of care."

For more details:
- see the NQF release
- also view two NQF-hosted webinars focused on how the use of eMeasures