What sorts of metrics are most appropriate for rural ambulatory settings?
In a rural ambulatory setting, the metrics chosen should help determine whether goals are being met in terms of clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, staff contentment and the costs/revenues associated with the practice. These metrics should reflect the patient population, including demographics and volume and practice type. Rural providers should also develop ways to measure unique features in their practice, such as the use of telemedicine and home monitoring.
Metrics may also be selected because of quality reporting needs. For example, under Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting Initiative, (PQRI), eligible health professionals can receive an incentive payment for satisfactorily reporting data on covered services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries. Such metrics can also provide information to providers regarding how they compare to their peers.
Additional resources on the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI):
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