New quality-improvement project focuses on measuring what matters to patients

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Are people with diabetes more concerned with lowering their A1C levels or walking to the corner market? Would they rather see improvement in BMI or be able to spend more time with family members?

The National Committee for Quality Assurance hopes to address such critical questions about motivation among medically complex patients, including the elderly, in a three-year demo with 800 participants.

The Person-Driven Outcome Measures project, aims to measure quality of care by evaluating how well healthcare organizations help individuals achieve results that matters to them. The idea is to reward patients for hitting personal goals as part of a larger shift to person-centered care.

NCQA will work with four organizations — MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital Center for Successful Aging in Baltimore, Priority Health of Michigan, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, and Community Health Plan of Washington — and 30 types of clinicians including social workers, nurse practitioners and registered nurses.

“Existing quality measures do not effectively evaluate what is most important to people, particularly older adults with complex care needs, and we hope to change that,” said Margaret E. O'Kane, NCQA president.

In a pilot study, NCQA developed and tested an approach to collect person-driven outcomes that uses a combination of individualized and standardized person-reported outcome measures to track goals of care over time. NCQA said individuals and providers who participated in the pilot found the person-driven outcome approach was feasible and added value to their care planning discussions.

Both the pilot and the larger, $2.1 million demo are supported by The John A. Hartford Foundation and The SCAN Foundation.