Measuring Quality in Child Health Care Programs
The Child Health Care Quality Toolbox is an online resource that helps you measure the quality of child health care programs. It also offers tips and tools for evaluating health care service programs for children.
The toolbox now includes mental health measures.
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What Is the Toolbox?
The Child Health Care Quality Toolbox is an
online resource to help you measure the
quality of child health care programs: http://www.ahrq.gov/chtoolbx
It also offers tips and tools for evaluating health care
service programs for children.
Who Is the Toolbox Designed For?
This Toolbox was designed for any person or
organization that wants to measure health care
quality for children and adolescents. State and
local policymakers, program directors, and their
staff need to be able to tell how well their
children's health programs are performing,
identify areas that need improvement, and
assess the impact of improvement strategies.
This online resource can help them in that
effort. Health care consumers, advocates,
providers, and plans will also find it useful.
How Does It Work?
Users can navigate among major sections and
subsections to get information on quality
measurement, descriptions of available
measures, examples of their use, and application
tips. There are also many links to other Web-based
What Can I Learn?
- Are the children covered by my area's
programs receiving quality health care?
- How can quality measures help me tell
whether our child health program is effective?
- What quality measures apply best to child
health and how can I get hold of them?
- Are there any mental and behavioral health
measures I can use?
- What quality measures are in the development
- Can I modify quality
measures to apply to my
area? How about
developing my own?
- What measures can I use
for children with special
health care needs?
What's in the Toolbox?
This Toolbox gives a detailed
introduction and links to several
measures that can be used in
Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Title V, and private
child health care programs.
CAHPS®—The Consumer Assessment
of Health Plans is widely used to gauge
how consumers experience access,
communication, and other aspects of health care. The expanded CAHPS® 3.0 Child
Survey includes the widely used core
questionnaire and a set of questions to
identify children with chronic conditions and
assess their health care experiences.
AHRQ QIs—The AHRQ Quality Indicators
are applied to readily available hospital
administrative data to produce screening
tools that identify areas of possible concern.
Each of three modules—prevention, inpatient,
and patient safety—contains pediatric
indicators dealing with areas such as
pediatric asthma or gastroenteritis
admission rates, birth trauma, and pediatric
heart surgery mortality.
HEDIS®—The Health Plan Employer Data
and Information Set, developed by the
National Committee for Quality Assurance,
includes many measures designed for or
applicable to children. HEDIS® groups
measures into the categories of
effectiveness, access/availability, satisfaction,
and use of services.
Title V Maternal and Child Health
Programs—This broad set of performance
measures relating to public health contains
quality measures that are particularly
pertinent to health care delivery for
children at the State level.
CAHMI—The Child and Adolescent Health
Measurement Initiative has developed two
sets of measures specific to very young
children and adolescents:
- PHDS—The Promoting Healthy
Development Survey is a survey of the
parents or guardians of children under
age four to find out if their children are
receiving recommended preventive and
developmental health care.
- YAHCS—In the Young Adult Health Care
Survey, adolescents ages 14-18 are
surveyed about whether they have
received recommended preventive care
and their experiences of the care.
New to the Toolbox: Mental Health Measures
The lack of reliable and useful quality measures
for mental and behavioral health services has
been a problem for State policymakers. The toolbox now includes information about
measures that apply to children and
The ECHO® (Experience of
Healthcare and Outcomes
Survey) child version
assessments of their
mental health and
Inventory of Mental
Measures is a searchable
database of over 300
measures for quality
assessment and improvement
in mental health and
substance abuse care.
About AHRQ and ULP
The Agency for Healthcare Research and
Quality (AHRQ) provides evidence-based
information on health care outcomes, quality,
cost, use, and access. Information from AHRQ's
research helps people make more informed
decisions and improve the quality of health care
AHRQ's User Liaison Program (ULP)
disseminates health services research findings in
easily understandable and usable formats
through interactive workshops and technical
assistance for policymakers and other health
services research users.
AHRQ Publication No. 01-0025
Revised June 2004
Child Health Care Quality Toolbox. Fact Sheet. AHRQ Publication No. 01-0025, June 2004. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/chtoolfact.htm