IOM report establishes framework for standardized measures set

A recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Vital Signs: Core Metrics for Health and Health Care Progress, identifies fundamental problems with the current state of health care quality measures as too many, unfocused, and unorganized and identifies a framework to streamline the measures.
The IOM report uses four domains—healthy people, care quality, lower cost, and engaged people—to propose the following 15 standardized measure sets that represent a more wholistic, organized and focused approach for required measures at the national, state, and local levels and recommends steps to implement the measures:
1. Life expectancy
2. Well-being
3. Overweight and obesity
4. Addictive behavior
5. Unintended pregnancy
6. Healthy communities
7. Preventive services
8. Care access
9. Patient safety
10. Evidence-based care
11. Care match with patient
12. Personal spending
13. Population spending
14. Individual engagement
15. Community engagement
The  report was published online April 28, 2015 in The Journal of the American Medical Association by the Commonwealth Fund's David Blumenthal, M.D. and the Institute of Medicine's J. Michael McGinnis, M.D. 

Performance on Children’s Health varies across states

The State Scorecard on Child Health System Performance, 2011, finds that where children live and their parent’s incomes significantly affect their access to affordable care, receipt of preventive care and treatment, and opportunities to survive past infancy and thrive, according to the Commonwealth Fund.
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HealthGrades study shows a large variance in quality at U.S. hospitals

Patients Have a 52% Lower Chance of Dying at Top-Rated Hospitals

HealthGrades released The Twelfth Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study which examined nearly 40 million Medicare hospitalization records for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008. The study looks at trends in mortality and complication rates and also provides the foundation for HealthGrades’ quality ratings of procedures and diagnoses at each individual hospital.

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State healthcare scorecard finds disparities and gaps in access, quality, avoidable hospitalization and cost

Commonwealth Fund state-by-state analysis finds nationwide ceclines in coverage and rising costs

The cost and quality of health care, as well as access to care and health outcomes, continue to vary widely among states, according to the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System's second state scorecard report released today.

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Commonwealth Fund updates website

New performance reports are now available on, a health care quality improvement resource from The Commonwealth Fund. The site is updated with the most recent quarterly data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on the Hospital Quality Alliance measures, which gauge how often hospitals delivered recommended care processes for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgery. In addition, The Commonwealth Fund has added new reports on patient satisfaction, drawn from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). New case studies exploring the improvement strategies of the nation's top-performing hospitals have also been added.

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Study of Boston hospitals shows quality ratings vary by web site

A study in the November/ December Health Affairsshows that although many quality reporting services, often in the form of Web sites, have been established to help consumers choose a hospital based on quality measures, they all use different metrics and rankings to determine quality, reports American Medical News. The study compared the quality rankings of nine Boston-area hospitals from five different quality ranking Web sites: HealthGrades, Medicare's Hospital Compare, the Leapfrog Group, U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals," and Massachusetts Healthcare Quality and Cost.

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RAND Launches Tool to Evaluate Health Care Proposals

The RAND Corporation today launched an online tool to provide policymakers and interested parties with a way of understanding and evaluating the effects and unintended consequences of health care reform proposals certain to be introduced in the new 111th Congress and beyond. COMPARE (Comprehensive Assessment of Reform Efforts) is an online resource that synthesizes what is known about the current heath care system, provides information on proposals to modify the system and delivers insight about how potential policy changes are likely to affect health care delivery and costs in the United States.

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State of the USA, Institute of Medicine Identify 20 Key Indicators of Health

The Institute of Medicine. Dec. 17, 2008

Stakeholders and Public Should Use 20 Specific Health Indicators To Measure and Track Health and Well-being of Americans


Policymakers, the media, and the public should focus on 20 specific health indicators as "yardsticks" to measure the overall health and well-being of Americans, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. By providing information that can be compared over time, these 20 indicators will also help Americans track the nation's progress on improving our health and the effectiveness of public health and care systems, the report says.

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NJ reports increased hospital errors, probably due to better reporting

A new report says 72 people died in New Jersey hospitals last year as a result of preventable errors. That's 30 more than in 2006, but state health officials and patient advocates say the increase appears to be more the result of better reporting than worsening care. The state Department of Health and Senior Services released its third annual Patient Safety Act report on Wednesday. The Patient Safety Act requires hospitals to report surgical errors, medication errors, falls, bed sores and other incidents. Hospitals reported 456 such incidents for 2007, a number that has grown each year since the state began tracking the data in 2005. Falls and Pressure Ulcer events are the largest types of events reported.

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A New Health Care Quality Improvement Resource:

The Commonwealth Fund has launched a new Web site,, that allows health care providers, researchers, and professionals to easily conduct side-by-side comparisons of 4,500 hospitals nationwide, track performance over time against numerous benchmarks, and download tools to improve health care quality.

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Nursing home quality Web site adds rating system

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today added a five-star rating system to its Nursing Home Compare Web site. Facilities receive an overall rating ranging from one to five stars (the highest rating), plus specific ratings for staffing levels, performance on health inspection surveys and outcomes for existing quality of care measures.
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Healthcare data website launched; Compares cost, quality among Mass. hospitals

Massachusetts residents can now search a new website to compare the cost and quality of care at different hospitals, part of an ambitious state plan to help control healthcare costs by giving consumers more information.


The site,, gives consumers access to previously confidential information about how much insurers pay individual hospitals for surgical procedures such as knee and hip replacements and for treating illnesses such as pneumonia. It also allows comparisons of patient satisfaction ratings and patient safety measures at different hospitals.

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ACEP grades state emergency care

According to a report issued by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the emergency care system in the United States remains in serious condition, with numerous states facing critical problems. That is the disturbing but unmistakable finding of the 2009 edition of The National Report Card on the State of Emergency Medicine, a report designed to provide the American public with an objective assessment of the emergency care environment across the country.
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Medicare adds public reporting measures for dialysis care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) added two quality measures for anemia care to Dialysis Facility Compare, a Web site providing quality and other information on 4,700 dialysis facilities certified by Medicare. The measures show the percentage of patients with high and low hemoglobin levels, respectively. See the news release.

(SOURCE: AHA News Now,, November 21, 2008)

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