Did you know that one in 10 Americans say they have seen and used information comparing the quality of health insurance plans, hospitals or doctors to make health care related decisions?
ConsumerReports.org reports that 67 percent of consumers plan to use the Internet to help decide on their next car purchase. As consumers, we may investigate the quality rating of a car, but we generally won't research our choices for health care.
As explained in A Road Map for a Healthier Louisiana
, our state has some of the most dismal health outcomes in the country. Louisiana consistently ranks near the bottom compared to other states for general measures of health. To make matters worse, the bad outcomes are accompanied by high costs.
Quality measurement involves the collection, standardization, analysis and reporting of health care data to improve patient care and outcomes. W. Edwards Deming, PhD, a world renowned American statistician, educator, author and consultant, has stated that "you cannot improve something you cannot measure." The reverse is also true – you cannot tell if you are improving without the ability to measure. Measurement, then, is essential to achieving quality health care.
As a neutral body, the Quality Forum convenes a broad array of stakeholders - providers, payers, purchasers and consumers - to develop statewide goals, an endorsed set of quality measures and coordinated health policy agendas for improving our health care system. A quality measurement initiative has the potential to help all stakeholder groups guide and impact public policy by providing:
- an aggregate view of improvement in health outcomes at the population level;
- an assessment of improvement initiatives at the community or population health level;
- potential gaps in care;
- evaluation of access to care; and
- clinical measurements related to quality, safety and continuity of care.
In essence, quality measurement would allow consumers, employers, providers and payers the opportunity to make appropriate and informed decisions.
If you would like to be notified about quality measurement-related reports released by the Quality Forum in the upcoming months, please sign up for our e-mail blasts and e-newsletters by clicking here