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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 role of Quality Reporting in Quality Improvement?

Quality reporting in the healthcare setting is used to summarize data and track performance based on selected measures.  Reporting provides comparative data for use in quality improvement.  Many believe that the ability to evaluate and report on quality data is necessary for system-wide improvement of health care delivery and patient outcomes. Quality reporting is an effective accountability technique as it allows providers and other entities to identify and to address areas for improvement.  

It is important to note that quality reporting is a useful tool for facilitating QI so long as data received is interpreted appropriately.  If data produced in quality reports is unusable or misinterpreted, the QI reporting process will have to be re-examined.  Involve staff in development of reporting requirements up front, including identification of key variables of interest, and assure that the data elements selected are meaningful and understood consistently throughout the organization.  If possible, enhance inter-coder reliability by utilizing more than one staff member for data interpretation.  

Related Resources:

National Healthcare Quality Report 2008 - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
The National Quality Forum: A “Me-Too” or a Breakthrough in Quality Measurement and Reporting? go to exit disclaimer- Health Affairs
Improving Health Care Quality Reporting go to exit disclaimer- California Health Care Foundation

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