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AHCPR unveils its updated health care quality improvement database

The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research has released an expanded, more user-friendly version of its quality improvement database CONQUEST (Computerized Needs-Oriented Quality Measurement Evaluation System). This new version, CONQUEST 2.0, includes more clinical performance measures and medical conditions than the previous version, as well as new information on how to select and apply the measures.

This database will help health care and quality improvement professionals quickly identify, understand, compare, evaluate, and select measures to assess and improve clinical performance in acute, ambulatory, long-term, and home health care settings. The measures cover children and adults and include many different common and costly diagnoses and conditions, which are, in turn, linked with evidence-based treatment guidelines.

This database can help users compare clinical performance within and across an organization, establish benchmarks and identify best practices, target opportunities for quality improvement, and measure changes in quality over time. CONQUEST 2.0 includes new measure sets, including RAND's hysterectomy measures on assessing appropriate procedures and HCFA's Cooperative Cardiovascular Project and Pneumonia Module from the Medicare Quality Indicator System. In addition to new measure sets, others have been updated, such as the National Committee on Quality Assurance's HEDIS measure set and the HCFA/University of Wisconsin's nursing home quality measures.

This updated version brings together a vast number of measures in a sophisticated, accessible, computerized package. It consists of linked databases that are made up of clinical performance measures and conditions. The conditions database includes 57 medical conditions, such as cancer, cataracts, gallbladder disease, heart attack, hypertension, and pregnancy. The clinical performance measures database comprises 1,197 measures, such as percentage of patients with a heart attack who are discharged on beta blockers, percentage of nursing home residents diagnosed with depression who do not receive antidepressant therapy, and percentage of patients with pneumonia who receive correct antibiotics.

Measures included in the database were contributed by many different developers, including the American Group Practice Association, the Center for Clinical Quality Evaluation, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the Maryland Hospital Association, and the Pacific Business Group on Health.

The CONQUEST 2.0 database and its User's Guide and Quick Start Summary can be downloaded directly from AHCPR's Web site at The set of disks (AHCPR Publication No. 99-DPO1) and printed copies of the User's Guide (AHCPR Publication No. 99-0011) and Quick Start Summary (AHCPR Publication No. 99-0015) are available from the AHCPR Clearinghouse. For free technical assistance and more information about CONQUEST 2.0, contact Marge Keyes at (301) 427-1333 or by E-mail to

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