15 Measures for Population Health Management

15 Measures for Population Health Management

The Institute of Medicine outlined fifteen new core measures it hopes will help the healthcare system achieve better patient outcomes. The intention is to improve transparency and simplify the assessment of population health management.

The goals, outlined in the 2015 “Vital Signs” report, include:

  • Access to care
  • Life expectancy
  • Patient Safety
  • Unintended Pregnancy
  • Evidence-based Care
  • Overweight and Obesity
  • Healthy Communities
  • Greater Community Engagement
  • Managing Addictive Behavior
  • Reducing Personal Spending Burden
  • Individual Engagement
  • Reducing Population Spending Burden
  • Preventive Service
  • Care that Matches Patient Goals
  • General Well-being

“U.S. healthcare costs and expenditures are the highest in the world,” said David Blumenthal, president of the New York City Commonwealth Fund. “But health outcomes and the quality of care are below average by many measures. If we want to know how effective and efficient our health expenditures are in order to improve health and lower costs, we need to measure the most crucial health outcomes to guide our choices and gauge impact. The proposed core set focuses on the most powerful measures that positively affect the health and well-being of Americans.”

Numerous measures already exist and tend to overlap and render one another redundant. The National Quality Forum database includes over 630 measures, most of which examine only slight granular variations of the same target information. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service, meanwhile, catalogs nearly 1,700 equally inefficient and redundant measures. Ultimately, the limited scope of these existing measures makes it difficult for them to reflect larger trends within national healthcare system performance.

While the Institute of Medicine does not intend for the new core measures to replace already-existing measures, the Institute is hoping they will reduce the crippling burden of information collection placed on many clinicians. By continuously evolving to keep pace with the ever-changing health care system, IOM hopes these measures will improve health outcomes nationwide.

IOM recommends the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services utilize the core measures to focus on measure reporting and maintain consistency in programs. Healthcare stakeholders are advised to develop strategies to implement the new measures.

Victor Dzau, president of IOM, insists that the key to implementing the set of core measures is leadership from stakeholders. “This opportunity to align and widely adopt these measures could help the nation progress toward better health at lower cost.”