National Quality Forum endorses 48 quality measures

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has endorsed 48 quality measures; 12 measures focused on healthcare disparities and culturally competent care for racial and ethnic minority populations; 22 measures address cancer care, 14 patient safety measures, and 12 measures that assess coordination of care, according to NQF press releases. 

According to NQF, the healthcare disparities measures were developed as an important first step to address healthcare disparities, as racial and ethnic minorities often receive lower- quality care than their white counterparts, even after controlling for factors such as insurance coverage, socioeconomic status, and comorbidities. 

The cancer care measures are focused on conditions such as leukemia, prostate cancer, and multiple myeloma, but also on issues that affect care delivery – including radiation dose limits, hospice readmissions, and care planning.     

The 14 patient safety measures focus on complications. The measures address a range of quality concerns, including medication safety, venous thromboembolism, surgical safety, and care coordination. 

The coordination of care measures touch on such critical areas of concern as reconciling patients’ medications, establishing advance care plans, and the timely availability of medical records (to other caregivers and patients themselves) when patients are discharged from hospitals and other in-patient facilities.      

(Sources:    The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://www.advisory.com/, August 14, 2012; National Quality Forum, http://www.qualityforum.org, August 10, 2012)