Institute of Medicine Issues New Report for Improving National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports
April 23, 2010
The Institute of Medicine (a division of the National Academies of Science) has issued a new report — Future Directions for the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports — designed to improve the usability and impact of the National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR) issued annually by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Among the recommendations in the report, AHRQ is encouraged to consider incorporating data from regional quality organizations when national data are not available. One of the organizations cited as an example of such a data source is the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ).
The IOM concludes that the NHQR and NHDR can be enhanced to better promote change within the healthcare system. The IOM recommends focusing on the central aspirations of improving health, value, and equity by directing attention towards closing performance gaps in the healthcare areas with the greatest population impact, cost efficiency, and potential to eliminate disparities.
The NHQR has been the source of considerable attention in Wisconsin in recent years, as the report consistently shows Wisconsin as comparing extremely well with other states on most individual measures of performance; and, while AHRQ does not rank states in the report, Wisconsin has been cited as either the number one or two state in the country when the measurement indices are aggregated and compared by state.
Chris Queram, WCHQ's president and CEO, served as a member of the IOM Committee that produced the report.
Copies of the IOM report are available through The National Academies Press.