From 1996 to 1997, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) convened a work group of experts in performance measurement and information technology who examined the research literature, surveyed health plan information system capabilities, and interviewed 60 experts in the field.
NCQA, Washington, is the primary accreditation body of the managed care industry. It has played a key role in developing measurement standards to evaluate managed care organizations.
NCQA's efforts to generate more sophisticated measurements of health quality cannot be accomplished until health plans develop better information systems, most of which have been designed for billing and claims payment rather than to produce information on the quality of the health care provided.
The work group produced a report, "A Road Map for Information Systems: Evolving Systems to Support Performance Measurement, " that outlines recommended steps that health plans will need to take to improve their information systems.
The report includes the following conclusions and recommendations: