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AHRQ Launches New Web-Based Quality Measures Resource

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Press Release Date: February 20, 2003

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality today launched its Web-based National Quality Measures Clearinghouse. The NQMC will contain the most current evidence-based quality measures and measure sets available to evaluate and improve the quality of health care.

The site is designed to be a one-stop shop for physicians, hospitals, health plans, and others who may be interested in quality measures. Users can search the NQMC for measures that target a particular disease/condition, treatment/intervention, age range, gender, vulnerable population, setting of care, or contributing organization. Visitors also can compare attributes of two or more quality measures side by side to determine which measures best suit their needs. The site also provides material on how to select, use, apply, and interpret a measure.

"This new clearinghouse is an important resource for anyone who wants to improve the quality of health care for patients," said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. "Ultimately, this interactive online resource will serve as the primary source for the most up-to-date, clinically proven quality measures."

The NQMC builds on AHRQ's previous initiatives in quality measurement and will be part of a larger Web site of quality, clinical information, and decision tool components that will include the National Guideline Clearinghouse. The NQMC and NGC will be linked for those who wish to coordinate their search for both quality measures and guidelines. AHRQ's quality initiatives include the National Healthcare Quality Report and the National Healthcare Disparities Report, which will be available in the fall of 2003.

Measures to be considered for inclusion in the NQMC can be submitted on an ongoing basis but must meet a set of criteria. Organizations interested in contributing quality measures should contact NQMC.

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs, (301) 427-1364: Salina Prasad, (301) 427-1864; Karen Migdail, (301) 427-1855.


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