Panel Seeks Unified Performance Reporting System

An expert panel convened by the Washington DC-based Institute of Medicine is calling for a radically streamlined approach to healthcare performance measurement. Noting that health systems now often require 50 to 100 full-time employees at costs of $3.5 million to $12 million annually to comply with a wide range of competing reporting requirements, the panel argues that measurement “will fail if it is left to the experts.” The panel points to surveys that have found “significant inefficiencies and redundancies, due in part to minor variations in measure methodologies that lead to multiple different reporting requirements for the same target.” The authors of the report titled Vital Signs: Core Metrics for Health and Health Care Progress call for a simpler approach that focuses on 15 areas of measurement in four domains. The domains address health, quality-of-care, cost and engagement, while the areas of measurement address such topics as obesity, addiction, life expectancy, access, safety and personal healthcare spending relative to income. The panel was chaired by David Blumenthal, MD, President of The Commonwealth Fund. To download a free copy of the report, visit the Institute’s website at www.iom.edu.