The seven core sets of quality measures released recently by the Core Quality Measures Collaborative will require hospitals to change the way some data is collected, says David Nace, chief medical officer at MarkLogic, a software company in San Carlos, CA. Nace has more than 20 years of senior management experience in large healthcare systems, payer health plans, leading healthcare providers, and health information technology organizations.
“The big story here is not so much on the standardization of assessment instruments, but rather moving the ball forward on standardizing quality and financial measures, and thus requiring the integration of data from multiple silos,” Nace says.
Nace notes that the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014 instructs CMS to require post-acute care providers to collect, integrate, and report standardized patient assessment data and quality measures — and that the data be interoperable for exchange with other providers to facilitate longitudinal and near or real-time coordination of care. The collaborative’s core measures are intended to make that more of a reality, he says.
“The reason the assessment instruments are highlighted is that the data you start with will dictate the data to collect in an ongoing fashion to track and manage patient care, specifically cost, quality, and outcomes,” he says. “A key driver of the initiative is to allow for transparency in comparing provider costs, quality, and outcomes — and thus allow for well-informed choices by those choosing or steering others to providers, and allow for continuing learning environments for the providers themselves.”
Data across multiple sources first has to be brought together, matched up with the right patient, and made accurate and reliable, says Ramon Chen, data management expert and chief marketing officer with Reltio, a company in Redwood Shores, CA, that provides data management services. Existing healthcare systems do not need to be immediately replaced, he says, but organizations need to leverage new modern data management capabilities so post-acute care data analysis can occur against a reliable data foundation.
“Standards are always desired and an ultimate goal. But enforcing standards is a difficult task without technologies that can govern and ensure that information conforms. Even with validation at source, there will always be errors such as mistyped names, addresses, and other details,” Chen says. “An ideal platform is one that can both guarantee standard entry, continuously validate information across all sources, reconcile and match details between systems, and provide a collaborative framework to review errors and correct them manually if needed.”
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