Stephen C. Schoenbaum, Anthony Shih
A. Shih and S. Schoenbaum, Measuring Hospital Performance: The Importance of Process Measures, The Commonwealth Fund, July 2007
Providers and patients agree that high-quality care is an essential component of a high performance health system, a position supported by The Commonwealth Fund's Commission on a High Performance Health System. However, recent debate has focused on how best to define "high quality" in the hospital setting. Recent journal articles have found only a "modest relationship" between performance on Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA) process measures and short-term mortality. Despite the lack of a more robust connection, the authors of this data brief contend that these HQA measures represent actionable items that can have an impact on quality and health outcomes and identify specific activities hospitals can work on to improve performance. Developing new process measures to reduce mortality and other poor outcomes, while improving performance on the current measures, can help move the nation toward achieving higher-quality health care and a high performance health system.