Measuring Quality

There are various Regulatory Agencies and organizations that monitor healthcare facilities on best practices, quality of patient care, and patient safety. Each agency measures quality and patient safety based on different criteria allowing them to gather metrics on categories like Hospital Acquired conditions. This information can be found on websites like www.Hospitalcompare.hhs.gov, a consumer oriented website that provides information on well hospitals provide recommended care to their patients.

The following are some examples of regulatory agencies and organizations that are monitoring healthcare facilities quality and patient safety:

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS): a government agency responsible for overseeing the care and payment and quality given to patients who have healthcare benefits with Medicare or Medicaid. For more information on CMS go to: www.cms.gov
  • The Joint Commission (TJC): TJC has developed and nationally implemented many sets of standardized core performance measures for hospitals. For more information on TJC go to: www.jointcommission.org
  • The Leapfrog Group: Leapfrog incorporates a Hospital Survey for comparing hospitals performance on the national standards of safety, quality, and efficiency that are most relevant to consumers and purchasers of care. For more information on The Leapfrog group go to: www.leapfroggroup.org 
  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ): AHRQ’s works to produce evidence to make health care safer, mission is to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable, and to work within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and with other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used. For more information on AHRQ go to: www.ahrq.gov
  • The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN): NHSN is the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) division that acts as the channel through which facilities comply with CMS infection reporting requirements. It enables healthcare facilities to collect and use data about their Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) to develop and track improvement processes to prevent HAIs. For more information on NHSN go to: http://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/

The goal of measuring data is to provide these metrics on healthcare facilities to patients, their families, and healthcare professionals, so that they may be better informed when making decisions about their healthcare.