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AQA Second Invitational Meeting Summary

Where We Are and Where We Need To Go

Carolyn Clancy, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Carolyn Clancy opened the meeting with an overview of the process to date. She noted that the goal of the meeting was to undertake a collaborative effort to improve health care quality and patient safety through performance measurement and reporting. We all agree on this goal, she said, but we are struggling with the details. She also outlined the current health care environment, which is marked by rising costs, growing customer and purchaser demand for value, and limited information on performance and what works.

Clancy noted that the real challenge ahead begins with a question: Can all the stakeholders come together and create a single forum for addressing these issues?

After briefly noting several recent Department of Health and Human Services initiatives, Clancy turned to the issue of health information technology. This technology offers new opportunities, she said, and is critical to improving the quality of care in the United States. Clancy said that health information technology will change, in an evolutionary fashion, how everyone in the health care system collects data. But we're not there yet, she stressed.

The challenge ahead is to develop a strategy for moving forward effectively and efficiently to:

  • Measure performance at the provider level.
  • Collect and aggregate data in the least burdensome way.
  • Report meaningful information to consumers, physicians, and other stakeholders to inform choices and improve outcomes.

The work we've done so far is "very, very encouraging," said Clancy.

Meeting Goals

Session on Performance Measurement

  • Reach consensus on core principles for selecting a starter set of performance measures for ambulatory care.
  • Reach consensus on the conditions covered in a starter set of measures for ambulatory care.
  • Review the proposed starter set of measures and identify other measures for consideration.

Session on Data Sharing and Aggregation

  • Reach consensus on core principles for data sharing, aggregation, and stewardship.
  • Discuss potential models for:
    1. A national entity to set standards and "rules of the game."
    2. A national data stewardship organization.

Session on Reporting

  • Identify goals and issues for public reporting versus reporting for quality improvement.
  • Address critical issues, including the level of the reporting and ensuring accountability at the locus of control.
  • Discuss potential models for reporting.

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