First Steps to Developing Standardized Quality Performance Measures Based in Electronic Health Records

Development of electronic health record-based indicators for ambulatory and integrated health care systems

Researchers from Park Nicollet Institute and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health conducted preliminary work to develop a standardized set of electronic-health-record-based quality performance measures—"e-indicators."

As part of their efforts, the researchers:

  • Completed a search through the research literature for existing quality performance e-indicators.
  • Examined the experiences of five different integrated health care delivery systems in developing, testing and implementing quality performance e-indicators.

Key Findings:

  • The results of the literature search revealed that few previous studies focused specifically on the development of quality indicators for the new electronic environment.
  • The experience of the five health care delivery systems (profiled in a report available online) revealed that:
    • Performance measures become much more clinically relevant when they are based on the electronic health record.
    • Establishing the validity and reliability of data extracted from the electronic health record is a key challenge to the development and use of e-indicators.
    • Measures that translated established quality indicators had the easiest transition into electronic health record implementation.