Quality measures and reporting systems have evolved over the years in an uncoordinated fashion, resulting in duplicative efforts and burdens on physicians. The first in a series of three white papers by the Council of Accountable Physician Practices, “Moving the Needle to Meaningful Health Care Quality Measurement,” reports that a lack of coordination among institutions that generate quality reports has created a multitude of parallel measurement systems with hundreds of often redundant measures.
Uncoordinated quality measurement creates confusion and additional burdens on physicians and care providers. Doctors report spending 785 hours on average each calendar year working to comply with the reporting requirements for quality initiatives. That amount of time could be used to care for an additional nine patients each week. Standardizing quality measurement in healthcare can give patients better information for choosing a provider, help government agencies determine the quality initiatives that create actual benefits, and leave physicians with more time to care for patients.
CAPP’s white paper makes several recommendations for consolidating quality metrics to create actual benefits in healthcare. The several hundred existing measures should be reduced down to around twenty five, to eliminate outdated, redundant, or unnecessary measures. In order to leverage quality measurement into actual health improvements, preventive care should be prioritized in immunizations and screenings and chronic disease management. Establishing more definitive measurements of these outcomes is another key step—quality should not just be whether someone received their medication, but if they take it, improve, and if they maintain their normal life.
As the care delivery reform movement moves forward, advocates for more healthcare system-ness like CAPP continue to urge policy and lawmakers to take steps towards reforming and streamlining the metrics for quality reporting. These changes will enable providers and physicians to more easily evaluate the quality of healthcare they provide, and create meaningful improvements in health outcomes for patients.
You can learn more about the Council of Accountable Physician Practices, and their work to create coordinated healthcare for better health outcomes, at their website.
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