Quality Field Notes: Performance Measurement

The Challenge

Measuring the quality of care is a critical starting point to close these gaps—we cannot improve what we do not measure. Public 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 that they are buying. This brief focuses on how clinicians are using public reports to improve the care they provide to patients.



Americans die every year because they don't receive appropriate care for their chronic conditions.

As part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) initiative, 16 alliances around the country published public reports about the quality of care local physicians provide so they can be used by everyone who gets, gives, or pays for care. They had to overcome initial resistance to performance measurement among some physicians and, where available, learned to tap emerging electronic medical records. Getting consumers to use these reports has proven difficult, but there is growing evidence that providers are using performance data for self-improvement, resulting in better outcomes for patient.  

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Measurement + Reporting = Improvement

There is growing evidence that providers are using performance measurement, outcome, and patient satisfaction data to improve the quality of care they provide. Check out this snapshot of what is happening in some communities across the country.

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