Multi-stakeholder group recommends a shared set of measures to improve the health of Oregonians

April 6, 2016 CHITO

PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregonians’ health will  be improved if there is a public-private effort to overhaul the number and types of health care quality measures currently being collected, according to a white paper issued today by the Collaborative for Health Information Technology in Oregon (CHITO).

“Aligning Health Measurement in Oregon” is a result of months of collaborative research to study and develop recommendations around a proliferation of hundreds of overlapping – and sometimes competing – state, federal, and commercial health care quality reporting initiatives and mandates.

“We heard time and again that health care providers and their staff are overwhelmed with the sheer volume of reporting they are required to do,” said Mylia Christensen, executive director of the Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation (Q Corp.). “Oregon has been a leader in health care transformation, and it is time to take that leadership to the next logical level: creating a common set of quality, cost  and outcomes measures among all  stakeholders, so that we can meaningfully gauge whether transformation is working.”

Highlights of “Aligning Health Measurement in Oregon” include the following findings:

  • There are more than 420 reporting measures from various state, federal and commercial health care programs and initiatives.
  • Many quality incentive programs have mixed results as they are not tied to best practices, are siloed among dozens of sponsors, and the results are not always available to the public.
  • Previous efforts to align measures were well-intentioned but had little success, in part because those involved did not have the authority and resources to implement changes.

“Providers, policy makers and the public all share the same goals of better care, lower cost, and better patient experience: what we know as the Triple Aim,” said Andy Davidson, president & CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems. “But we must be smart and strategic about achieving those goals through a more focused and aligned use of data and measurement. We think an aligned measures approach will be more likely to result in better health outcomes. ”

“Aligning Health Measurement in Oregon” also argues that the best statewide results will be produced when measures are directed at improving care for all Oregonians, regardless of health care delivery setting, insurer, geography, health status, ability to pay, race, ethnicity, etc. Collaboration must occur with diverse groups representing all those who are impacted by health care."

“This will help expand measurement beyond the clinical environment to consider population health, social determinants of health, and communities where people live, work and play,” said Christensen. “Once we begin to align and streamline data measures and focus our efforts, we’ll be able to drive meaningful change in our health care system. Our hope is that this white paper provides an important foundation for the work that Oregon’s Healthcare Policy Board is about to embark on in this regard.”

To read the white paper, click here.

About CHITO: CHITO is a strategic multi-stakeholder alliance created to align and improve the planning, execution, utility, and efficiency of Health Information Technology (HIT) with an emphasis on aligning data and analytics in Oregon.  CHITO comprises representatives from several health care entities, including the Oregon Health Leadership Council (OHLC), Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS), OCHIN, Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation (Q Corp), and other partners.