Research shows health IT enables quality measurement, but obstacles remain
Research Activities, October 2012, No. 386
Research funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) made advances in measuring quality using health information technologies. Based on the experiences of 17 researchers, the synthesis report Findings and Lessons from the Enabling Quality Measurement Through Health IT Grant Initiative incorporates cross-cutting results from a series of grants that examined the development of electronic quality measures, methods of capturing and integrating quality data in electronic health records, the accuracy of information technology (IT)-enabled measurements, methods for providing meaningful feedback to clinicians, and ways that health IT could improve the efficiency of quality measurement.
To address these challenges Dr. Rainu Kaushal, of Weill Cornell Medical College, spearheaded an initiative to generate and test the reliability of prioritized quality measures. Fifteen of these measures were subsequently included in Stage 1 Meaningful Use requirements. Transforming data into meaningful feedback that clinicians can use to improve practice is an additional issue faced in automated quality measurement. To conquer this obstacle, Dr. Judith Logan of Oregon Health Sciences University worked with clinicians to generate and report prioritized quality measures through interactive Web-based quality reports.
To learn more about Dr. Kaushal's and Logan's projects that tested new quality measurement methods, please see their success stories available at http://healthit.ahrq.gov/ASQ.
For the full synthesis report, please visit http://healthit.ahrq.gov/ASQEQMRPT2012.pdf.