The Importance of Pediatric Quality Measurement and Improvement: The Role of the PQMP
Quality measures are used to evaluate or quantify specific health care processes, outcomes, patient perceptions, or other factors related to health care delivery. Quality measurement is an important tool in meeting the aims of the National Quality Strategy. Historically, quality measures have been focused on adults or the elderly, while existing child measures have been limited in scope.
Interest in pediatric quality measurement and quality improvement (QI) continues to grow. With an increase in federal and private-sector investment in quality measurement and improvement as part of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) of 2009, there have been great strides in development and use of child health quality measures.
Numerous national, state, and local organizations focus on the development and application of quality measures, including the Pediatric Quality Measures Program (PQMP)—which is focused solely on the development, dissemination, and implementation of pediatric-specific quality measures. These quality measures are intended for use by State Medicaid, CHIP, and other public and private programs, providers, plans, patients, and their families to measure and improve the quality of children's health care.
Through CHIPRA and continued federal investment, the PQMP—a partnership between AHRQ and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)—was formed and continues to support public and private partners focused on improving quality of care for the nation's children.
The PQMP was established and funded with the goals of:
- developing a publicly available portfolio of evidence-based new and innovative pediatric quality measures across diverse topics;
- improving and strengthening the Child Core Set of quality measures; and
- over the long term, contributing to improvements in the quality of care and elimination of child health care disparities.
From its initial phase under CHIPRA to its new phase currently funded under the 2015 Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), the work has been focused on supporting stakeholders through the dissemination and implementation of the new portfolio of evidence-based, consensus pediatric quality measures developed in the initial phase. Currently, PQMP grantees are working with stakeholders across several key measurement areas to implement and test these newly developed pediatric measures in real-world settings, and learn more about how they work when used in the front lines of care. The learning from this current phase will highlight the challenges and barriers in implementing quality measures and help to improve the links between measurement and improvement activities.
Ultimately, through the development of new measures and knowledge gained in understanding the challenges that exist in pediatric performance measurement and improvement efforts, the PQMP plays an important role in providing the evidence and potential solutions that will help to drive high-quality care and improve health outcomes for all children across the United States.