Document Type : Commentary
VA HSR&D Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX, USA
Department of Medicine, Health Services Research Section, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
Epidemiology and Health Outcomes Research Unit, Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Palo Alto, CA, USA
California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative, Palo Alto, CA, USA
Zegers and colleagues’ study codifies the perceived burden of quality monitoring and improvement stemming from the work by clinicians of registering (documenting) quality information in the medical record. We agree with Zegers and colleagues’ recommendation that a smaller, more effective and curated set of measures is needed to reduce burden, confusion, and expense. We further note that focusing on validity of clinical evidence behind individual measures is critical, but insufficient. We therefore extend Zegers and colleagues’ work through a pragmatic, tripartite heuristic. To assess the value of and curate a targeted set of performance measures, we propose concentrating on the relationships among three factors: (1) The purpose of the performance measure, (2) the subject being evaluated, and (3) the consumer using information for decision-making. Our proposed tripartite framework lays the groundwork for executing the evidence-based recommendations proposed by Zegers et al, and provides a path forward for more effective healthcare performance-measurement systems.