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NQF Helps Ensure Health IT Captures Information to Drive Quality Improvement
Date:11/12/2009

elopers use common data definitions and conventions when specifying measures for use with electronic health records."

The QDS framework ensures the latest health information technology requirements are seamlessly woven into quality measures. By providing a common language to describe the information within quality measures, the QDS enables quality measurement from a variety of electronic sources, including electronic health records (EHRs), personal health records (PHRs), registries and health information exchanges (HIEs). The framework consists of standard elements (a code list for a specific condition such as diabetes, or a medication such as aspirin); quality data elements (information describing the context of use in the clinical care process such as a past history of diabetes or the administration of aspirin); and data flow attributes (the sources of the information --who is providing the standard and quality data elements, what the care setting is, etc.)

Background on the Development of the QDS

NQF's Health Information Technology Expert Panel (HITEP), chaired by Dr. Tang, was reconvened specifically to develop the QDS. HITEP builds on the work of a 2008 panel, which identified 11 data categories and 39 data types. While HITEP's first report led to new feasibility criteria for measures endorsed by NQF, HITEP's latest work ensures measure specifications best-leverage electronic clinical information from disparate sources. To define the QDS framework, HITEP and its technical panels reviewed the data requirements associated with all NQF-endorsed(R) quality measures and considered additional requirements for future cross-cutting, patient-centered measures. The initial QDS will be populated to support the measures currently included in NQF's portfolio.

This work was conducted under a contract from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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SOURCE National Quality Forum
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