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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology and Quality

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What is the difference between quality performance measurement and clinical guidelines?

Clinical guidelines are systematically developed standards that offer educational tools to assist clinicians in providing optimal care.  Evidence based quality performance measures are used to track quality improvement outcomes over time, and are generally measured against a standard.  While clinical guidelines may be used as quality performance measures, guidelines are broad in scope and should not be used as the only measurement of quality improvement outcomes.  It is important to develop performance measures which are best suited to your organization’s particular quality improvement needs taking into account the patient population, scope of chronic disease and care provided.

Related Resources:

Current Specification for National Hospital Quality Measures go to exit disclaimer- QualityNet
Standardized Reporting on Clinical Practice Guidelines: A proposal from the Conference on Guidelines Standardization go to exit disclaimer- Annals of Internal Medicine 

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