NQF Releases Updated Quality Data Model

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has posted to its Web site an updated version of its Quality Data Model (QDM) and Style Guide, currently available for public comment until July 16. The QDM is an information model document developed to act as a guide for the effective automation of electronic health record (EHR) use.

The model clearly defines in a standardized format concepts used in quality measures and clinical care, according to the NQF Web site.

Currently the full healthcare data required for a complete assessment of quality measures are often found in several places throughout provider networks, rather than located in one centralized location. Without a standard structure for the data to allow for easy access and evaluation, developing accurate measurements for quality measures is difficult for clinicians to achieve.

The update includes measurement tools that will help providers and payers create new methods for identifying and categorizing patient data, according to an article on SearchHealthIT.com. In this way, the QDM may act as a common factor in making data entered into EHR systems more easily measurable that will ultimately benefit patients with increased quality of care.

“In addition to enabling comparisons across performance measures, the QDM can promote delivery of more appropriate, consistent, and evidence-based care through clinical decision support applications,” said NQF on their Web site.

The current NQF Style Guide associated with the updated QDM provides additional guidance specific to EHRs that have been certified for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s 2014 EHR Certification Program.

While some of the information necessary for quality measures is included in the certified EHR structure, the guide advises on information that may not be immediately available in certified EHRs.

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