Data Infrastructure, Standards and Interoperability: Keys to Quality Measurement

Data are the lifeblood of quality improvement.

Evaluating quality and comparing providers or organizations requires consistent, reliable data – and you need access to that data.

Unfortunately, in our fractured health care system, data is collected differently and inconsistently across a host of important health care issues. And, to make matters more challenging, getting access to data for evaluation is hampered by disparate platforms, proprietary interests and a complexity of required authorizations.

PQA is working to develop new quality measures that are focused on pharmacist-provided care and pharmacy-based services. Once developed, tested and endorsed, these measures would be appropriate for pharmacy accountability.

These are measures that, for example, would evaluate work to improve diabetes, hypertension, antidepressant medication use and patient outcomes.

There is great desire and need across health care for these types of measures. However, the greatest barrier to these types of measures is a lack of access to data from pharmacies to assess outcomes.

PQA created the Data and Interoperability Advisory Group (DIAG) to help address these issues. Launched in March 2020, the DIAG provides counsel on data standardization, data sources, and interoperability needed for meaningful, patient-centered and outcomes-focused measures. You can learn more about the DIAG, it’s role and roster in PQA’s July 21 update on our development of pharmacy measures.

The DIAG’s June 22 meeting focused on novel uses of interoperable data that could be used in pharmacy measures. You can view a recording of that 90-minute meeting. Given the meeting’s informative presentations, we also are launching a short blog series as a summary companion to the recording.

There will be five blogs, one highlighting each presentation:

  1. Cody Clifton, PharmD, of CPESN® USA, on the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (presentation begins at 9:30 of the meeting recording)
  2. Josh Howland, of PioneerRx, on the Pharmacist eCare Plan (21:40)
  3. Shelly Spiro, RPh, of the Pharmacy Health Information Technology Collaborative, on Data Standards (30:30)
  4. Amber Baybayan, PharmD, of OutcomesMTM, on Data Integration in Medication Therapy Management (44:55)
  5. Anna Legreid Dopp, PharmD, and Amey Hugg,BSPharm, of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, on Electronic Clinic Quality Measures: Considerations for Pharmacy Measures (57:25)

The DIAG’s work continues this fall and into 2021, as the group will consider data needs for prioritized measures in PQA’s Pharmacy Measure Development Action Plan. PQA will provide updates to our members and stakeholders as this work progresses.

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