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National Quality Forum Endorses Consensus Standards for Quality of Hospital Care
Date:5/15/2008

litate broad-based quality improvement by targeting numerous safety and quality issues within hospitals. Given the growing concerns with readmissions in America, particularly in the Medicare population, these important measures will help track progress toward improved transitions in care.

Most of the newly endorsed measures, the Quality Indicators, developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), specifically offer hospitals an opportunity to pinpoint safety issues with measurement driven by readily available administrative data, rather than medical record reviews. Carolyn Clancy, M.D., director of AHRQ, believes the new measures can have a real impact. "Through public reporting," said Dr. Clancy, "these measures should offer needed guidance to purchasers and consumers seeking information about hospitals, as well as an opportunity for benchmarking to peers in the marketplace."

Six of the measures target the most common preventable cause of hospital death -- venous thromboembolism (VTE). There are 900,000 cases of VTE in the United States every year, and a stunning 300,000 of them are fatal. Annually, over 600,000 of those cases -- and 200,000 of the fatalities -- occur in hospitals, which have access to VTE prophylactic measures and treatments. The need for hospital-focused measures is very clear. All six NQF-endorsed measures on VTE focus on hospitals; with one measure extending the focus to readiness of patients for discharge. These newly endorsed measures further fill out NQF's portfolio of VTE measures and practices, including two previously endorsed Safe Practices.

When a measure is NQF-endorsed(TM), it carries the full weight of formal consensus of more than 375 healthcare providers, consumer groups, professional associations, purchasers, federal agencies, and research and quality improvement organizations. Standards are vetted through NQF's formal Consensus Development Process to achieve special legal standing as volunt
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SOURCE National Quality Forum
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