NQF endorses two ACS NSQIP® quality measures

The National Quality Forum (NQF) recently endorsed two outcomes-based measures from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP). The ACS developed the two measures for surgical site infection (SSI) and urinary tract infection (UTI) in partnership with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and NQF’s endorsement marks the most recent step on the path toward national implementation of surgical quality measures.

“Increasingly, our national health system is looking for better ways to measure quality care. Better data creates more opportunities to improve the care hospitals provide patients. That’s why it will be important to measure quality using clinical, risk-adjusted, and nationally benchmarked outcomes-based measures,” said Clifford Y. Ko, MD, FACS, MS, MSHS, Director of the ACS Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care. “Endorsement of these measures brings us closer to implementing outcomes-based measures on a national level.”

In recent months, the ACS has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to harmonize their respective SSI measures. The ACS and CDC worked together to develop a joint measure for NQF’s endorsement, so that hospitals will be able to measure SSI through participation in either ACS NSQIP or the CDC National Healthcare Safety Network program.

The SSI and UTI measure endorsements are the fourth and fifth ACS NSQIP outcomes-based measures that the NQF has endorsed. Previously endorsed measures include elderly surgery outcomes, colectomy outcomes, and lower-extremity vascular bypass outcomes. The ACS developed all five measures in partnership with CMS based on an ongoing evaluation of scientific evidence. A directory of NQF-endorsed quality measures can be viewed at http://www.qualityforum.org/Measures_List.aspx.

In addition, as part of its move toward using clinical outcomes data to drive quality improvement in health care, CMS recently announced the ACS NSQIP Hospital Compare pilot using the three measures previously endorsed by the NQF.
This pilot marks the first time hospitals across the country have the opportunity to report surgical outcomes to Hospital Compare, the CMS website that provides quality information to health care consumers. Data from the pilot will be publicly available on the CMS Hospital Compare website beginning in October 2012. The effort is part of a two-year CMS pilot program using the three measures.

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