Thursday, June 11, 2009

The First Meeting of the Clinical Quality Workgroup

Guest author John Halamka reports on the first meeting of the clinical quality workgroup with their mission to provide recommendations on quality measures that should be tied to meaningful use. The workgroup expects to receive guidance on meaningful use from the HIT Policy Committee on June 16.

The First Meeting of the Clinical Quality Workgroup
by John Halamka

Today, the HIT Standards Committee Clinical Quality Workgroup met for the first time to discuss our charge, our deliverables, and our workplan.

The broad charge to the workgroup is to make recommendations to the HIT Standards Committee on quality measures that should be included in the Meaningful Use definition and for future EHR requirements. Also to make recommendations to the HIT Standards Committee on requirements for standards, implementation specifications, and certification related to EHRs and clinical quality.

The specific charge is make recommendations to the HIT Standards Committee on specific quality measures that should be included in the definition of Meaningful Use for 2011 within two (2) months of the workgroup’s first meeting. The workgroup will also take into consideration the eight (8) areas listed in Section 3002(b)(2)(B) when developing recommendations for the committee.

As I discussed in yesterday's blog, the HIT Policy Committee will discuss a matrix of meaningful use, standards, certification criteria, and meaningful use measures at their June 16th meeting. The Quality Workgroup will review this matrix and edit/amend it with appropriate accepted/recognized standards over the next 60 days.

For Quality measures, the important work to date includes HITEP I, HITEP II, and HITSP's efforts to create services with the capbilities to exchange raw data and computed measures.

NQF released the draft of HITEP II's work for public comment yesterday. It includes an important framework for describing quality measures based on EHR data types.

HITSP Tiger Teams are hard at work this week finishing a set of services which include 4 capabilities supporting quality:

-Collect and Communicate Quality Measure Data for a Hospital
-Collect and Communicate Quality Measure Data for Clinicians
-Quality Measures for Hospital Quality Information Reporting
-Quality Measures for Clinical Quality Information Reporting

The first two capabilities include the raw data needed to compute quality measures i.e. meds, labs, and process data

The second two capabilities include pre-computed patient level quality measurement numerators and denominators, a summary rather than the raw data. These services use the Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA), a constrained form of CDA

On June 16th, the Quality workgroup will receive meaningful use guidance from the HIT Policy Committee. We'll work hard over the following week and will present our strawman standards, implementation guidance, and certification criteria at the June 23rd public meeting of the HIT Standards Workgroup. We'll continue to refine the matrix in July and complete our work in August.

As I said yesterday, it's going to be a fun summer for everyone in healthcare IT!

1 comment:

Ahmad said...

This is really good news! I can't help but wonder if it would be worthwhile to use the Delphi Method to determine the criteria for Meaningful Use.