Dis­par­ity, co­or­di­na­tion mea­sures get NQF bless­ing

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

The Na­tional Qual­ity Forum en­dorsed 46 mea­sures re­lated to can­cer care, care co­or­di­na­tion, health­care dis­par­i­ties and cul­tur­ally com­pe­tent care for ra­cial and eth­nic mi­nori­ties. The 22 can­cer mea­sures—cho­sen from an ini­tial group of 26—ad­dress sev­eral spe­cific types of the dis­ease, such as melanoma and prostate can­cer, as well as over­ar­ch­ing qual­ity-re­lated top­ics such as read­mis­sions, pal­lia­tive care and imag­ing use. The NQF also en­dorsed 12 care-co­or­di­na­tion mea­sures cov­er­ing ar­eas such as med­i­ca­tion rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, use of ad­vance-care plans and pro­vid­ing health­care across dif­fer­ent set­tings. Frag­mented care and poor com­mu­ni­ca­tion are costly and can greatly in­crease the like­li­hood of ad­verse events, ac­cord­ing to the or­ga­ni­za­tion, cit­ing In­sti­tute of Medicine data es­ti­mat­ing that care-co­or­di­na­tion ef­forts could save as much as $240 bil­lion an­nu­ally. Dr. Don­ald Casey, co-chair of the care-co­or­di­na­tion steer­ing com­mit­tee, said the mea­sures are a good start to­ward im­prov­ing con­ti­nu­ity of care. “Even though we cur­rently lack com­pre­hen­sive qual­ity mea­sure­ments of ef­fec­tive care co­or­di­na­tion, these en­dorsed mea­sures help set the stage for the fu­ture,” said Casey, who un­til re­cently was chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer and vice pres­i­dent for qual­ity at three-hospi­tal At­lantic Health, Mor­ris­town, N.J. The 12 ad­di­tional mea­sures ad­dress­ing ra­cial and eth­nic dis­par­i­ties and cul­tur­ally com­pe­tent care mark the first time the NQF has looked specif­i­cally at such mea­sures for en­dorse­ment. The mea­sures per­tain to health lit­er­acy, lan­guage ser­vices and pa­tient en­gage­ment, among other top­ics.

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