NQF pushes use of electronic data in quality measurement

In an attempt to synchronize how various health plans measure doctor performance--and ultimately broaden the use of electronic means to measure quality--the National Quality Forum on Monday endorsed 70 measures that cover 16 conditions, including cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes.   

The measures combine data from two or more common electronic sources, such as lab systems and administrative claims data.  Fifteen of the measures rely on the use of clinical data elements from EHRs, PHRs or case management registries.  

Most of the measures are "level two" elements that are created by merging data from several administrative sources. About 15 of the measures are "level three," which involve "enriching" the administrative data with clinical data (lab results or blood-pressure values), NQF states. 

The organization didn't endorse any "level one" measures, for which data are collected from just one electronic administrative data source. Instead, NQF wants to see level three measures eventually become the norm.

"By taking advantage of multiple sources of data, these measures can provide a more complete picture of the care provided," said Dr. Charles Cutler, internist and former National Medical Director at Aetna and a co-chair of the NQF committee which identified the measures. 

For more:
- read this press release