Initiatives are under way throughout the nation to improve health care quality, improve the health of the American population, and reduce health care costs. These initiatives take on increased urgency in the face of shortfalls with respect to what is possible in health and health care. Despite spending almost one-fifth of the economy’s output on health care, the quality and safety of care remains uneven. Patient harm remains too common, care is frequently uncoordinated and fragmented, care quality varies significantly across the country, and overall health outcomes are not commensurate with the extraordinary level of investment.
While there are multiple obstacles to improving the nation’s health care system, one essential element for sustained progress is the capacity to reliably and consistently measure progress across all aspects of the health and health care system.
To consider these issues, the IOM held a workshop, sponsored by the Blue Shield of California Foundation, to understand how to improve the nation’s measurement capacity to track progress in a core measure set for better quality, lower cost, improved patient and public engagement, and better health outcomes. Furthermore, the workshop considered factors influencing the implementation of core measure sets, including the data infrastructure, resources, and policies that are needed for the use of core metrics across independent organizations and providers. This document summarizes the workshop discussions on these issues and the context for their engagement.
An IOM study panel is being developed to build on this work and propose a core measure set. For more information, contact [email protected].