Health Information Management

News: Does Measuring Quality Really Ensure Patient Safety?

CDI Strategies, May 19, 2016

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Healthcare lacks valid patient safety measures even though much—from reimbursement to tracking trends related to population health—rides on them. That’s what Peter Pronovost, MD, director of John Hopkins’ Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, indicated in an opinion column “Toward a Safer Health Care System: The Critical Need to Improve Measurement,” in the May edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Pronovost and co-author Ashish Jha, MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health called on CMS to “define standards of what makes a good measure and set accuracy requirements before implementing measures in pay for performance and public reporting,” according to an article on the matter by HealthLeaders Media.
CMS intended to add new measures to its public reporting site Hospital Compare this month but delayed the launch to July, according to HealthLeaders. CMS isn’t the only place where healthcare data gets crunched and disseminated for public perusal. Private companies such as the Leapfrog Group, US News & World Reports, Healthgrades, and Consumer Reports, among others all offer rankings of hospitals and physicians.


CDI programs should avail themselves of this data and be aware of how their facility fares. Negative outcomes highlighted by such reports may show, as Pronovost and Jha intimate, poor data rather than poor patient care.

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