National Quality Forum Endorses Electronic Data Measures for Quality Improvement

Heather Comak, January 7, 2010

The National Quality Forum (NQF) released a set of 70 measures this week that guide the standardization of electronic data for quality improvement. The measures combine data from two or more electronic sources, such as administrative claims or pharmacy systems.

The measures also cover 16 conditions, including bone and joint conditions, cardiovascular disease, asthma and respiratory illness, and diabetes.

The steering committee on clinically enriched administrative data sources at the NQF created three levels by which to rate measures concerning electronic data, where the data are from, and their complexity.

  • Level one includes data from one electronic administrative data source, such as claims data. This is the type of data that many quality improvement projects currently rely on.

  • Level two measures rely on merged data from multiple electronic administrative data sources.

  • Level three data will use electronic data that have been enriched with clinical data, for example a lab result.

Heather Comak Heather Comak is a Managing Editor at HCPro, Inc., where she is the editor of the monthly publication Briefings on Patient Safety, as well as patient safety-related books and audio conferences. She is also is the Assistant Director of the Association for Healthcare Accreditation Professionals. Contact Heather by e-mailing
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