20:04 PM

20 years after 'To Err is Human; hospital care quality measures are still of little use

Modern Healthcare discusses the takeaways of the “To Err is Human” report, which has indicated the need for new, more stringent hospital care quality measures. In the years following the report, while standards for reporting quality measures have been implemented, such actions have provided little protection to patients.

Modern Healthcare spoke to Catherine H. MacLean, MD, PhD, Chief Value Medical Officer at HSS, about the challenges of developing and implementing quality measurement programs, key learnings to date and where the future of quality measurement is headed. Dr. MacLean co-authored a perspective article in the New England Journal of Medicine which unveiled measures endorsed by National Quality Forum (NQF) weren’t valid, using another endorsement process. The modified method from RAND Corp. was used to test the validity of 86 measures that are part of Medicare’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System program, and only 48% of the measures endorsed by NQF were considered valid.

Dr. MacLean noted it may be time to rethink how stakeholders are used in the endorsement process. NQF stakeholders include not just doctors but patients, consumer groups and insurers. She explained that while it’s important to get patient feedback on the usefulness of a measure, it should be left to those versed in measurement science to assess a measure’s validity. “I don't think we use stakeholders to their best potential, and I think sometimes stakeholders are put in positions that they aren't qualified to assess," she added.

Read the article at Modernhealthcare.com. Please note, a subscription to this publication is required to access. This article also appeared in the November 11, 2019 print edition.