Quality Field Notes: Performance Measurement and Quality Improvement

When Americans go to the doctor, it's essentially a coin toss as to whether they'll receive the care medical experts recommend for their conditions. Measuring the quality of care is a critical starting point to close these gaps. After all, we cannot improve what we do not measure. Publicly reporting about the performance of physician practices allows patients to make informed choices about their care, helps health care professionals see where they can improve, and allows purchasers to know the value of the care they are buying.

This issue brief examines lessons from RWJF Aligning Forces for Quality alliances that have made information about the quality of care local physicians provide publicly available to everyone who gets, gives, or pays for care.

Key Lessons

  • Physician practices can use publicly reported information about the quality of care in their community to compare their performance to their peers and standards of care, which in turn can motivate them to improve.

  • Public reports and quality improvement initiatives developed by multistakeholder groups have greater credibility and capacity to spur improvement.

  • Regional health improvement collaboratives can use public reports to identify top performers and enable providers to share best practices.

Resources on Leveraging Performance Measurement Data

Resource Guide

Resource Guide

This resource guide provides additional information for clinicians and health care organizations on leveraging performance data to improve quality.

Check out more tools on performance measurement
Case Studies From Aligning Forces

Case Studies From Aligning Forces

This series of case studies highlights select stories from three Aligning Forces communities—Cincinnati, Wisconsin, and Cleveland—detailing how they've used performance measurement data to improve quality.

See what AF4Q communities are doing
An Interview With Kathleen Lehman

An Interview With Kathleen Lehman

We sat down with Kathleen Lehman, senior clinical efficiency analyst at MetroHealth in Cleveland, to learn more about efforts there to identify and share best practices for improving care.

Read the interview
A Snapshot from Aligning Forces

A Snapshot from Aligning Forces

We can't improve what we don't measure. There is growing evidence that clinicians are using performance measurement, outcome and patient satisfaction data to improve the quality of care they provide.

See what's happening in communities across the country

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