Accreditation

Submitting eCQMs in 2017

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, February 21, 2017

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When it comes to healthcare quality improvement, electronic clinical quality measures (eCQM) are the way of the future. Or at least that’s what many are betting on. This year, Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals will be required to choose six out 13 possible eCQMs to report on to meet their 2017 ORYX Performance Measurement Requirements.

Meanwhile, CMS required facilities participating in the hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting program and Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs to submit four eCQMs by March 13, with data from patients discharged during either the third or fourth quarter of 2016.

Pioneers in Quality
Last year, the Joint Commission’s Pioneers in Quality program awarded 39 hospitals for their work collecting and reporting care quality data electronically. To be awarded, hospitals had either to voluntarily send 2015 eCQM data, submit an eCQM solution online, present a Pioneers in Quality webinar, or work on eCQM development with The Joint Commission.

One of the hospitals to be awarded was Nebraska Methodist Hospital (NMH) in Omaha, a member of the Methodist Health System. NMH earned both an Expert Contributor and a Data Contributor ranking for being an early adopter of the eCQMs, electing to send two measures to The Joint Commission in 2015.

Marie Kozel, MBA, BSN, RNC-BC, PMP, IBCLC, LCCE, director of clinical informatics at the Methodist Health System, says that once NMH realized the healthcare field was moving toward a fully electronic quality reporting process, they decided to get ahead of the learning curve.

“The first year, we only submitted to The Joint Commission,” she says. “We were early adopters and wanted to dip our toes in the water to feel it out. The Joint Commission allowed us to select a limited number of measures to get [our] feet wet.”

Then in 2016, policy changes allowed them to do just four eCQMs and submit them to both The Joint Commission and CMS.  In 2017, she says they plan on electronically submitting eight measures; with eight going to CMS and six to The Joint Commission.

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