Healthcare performance measures at national level
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has issued the seventh annual report on the state of health care quality nationally, the National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and the National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR).
Both reports present the latest available findings on quality and access to healthcare.
- The National Healthcare Quality Report presents performance management in healthcare system through quality measures, focused both on process and outcome.
- The National Healthcare Disparities Report offers a broader perspective upon healthcare quality and access among various racial, ethnic, and income groups and other priority populations, such as children and older adults.
The main conclusions of the reports are:
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2010) reported that improvements in patient safety continue to lag. Quality is improving at a slow pace. Of the 33 core measures, two-thirds improved, the median rate of change being 2% per year.
- Process and outcome measures are improving. Of the 68 process measures, 23 (34%) improved at a rate greater than 5% per year. Overall, the median rate of change was 2.2% per year. Improvement is somewhat slower for outcomes. Of the 92 outcome measures, 23 (25%) improved at a rate greater than 5% per year. Overall, the median rate of change was 2.3% per year.
Change in quality over time
Change in quality over time, (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 2010, p.9)
Although rates are improving incrementally, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2010) considered that minirities are less likely to receive preventive antibiotics before surgery in a timely manner.
- The reports indicate that the lack of health insurance slows improvement in healthcare quality and reduction of disparities, being the strongest predictor of poor quality care.
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- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2010) National Healthcare Disparities Report, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S.
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2010) National Healthcare Quality Report, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services , U.S.
- smartKPIs.com (2010) Healthcare KPIs in practice