Few hospital leaders plan to use eCQM data to improve quality: 5 survey findings

Although most provider organizations successfully submitted electronic Clinical Quality measure data to CMS, very few leaders plan to use that data to drive quality improvement initiatives, according to a survey conducted by Q-Centrix.

Q-Centrix, a healthcare information solutions provider, surveyed 36 hospital and health system C-suite, senior-level and quality executives following the completion of the 2016 eCQM submission process earlier this year.

CMS requires hospitals to submit eCQM data as part of the Hospital Inpatient Quality Report and/or the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs. This year's filing period ended March 13.

"Unfortunately many hospitals have approached the need to electronically submit quality data with CMS as a technology issue, not a quality issue, and have addressed only the ability to make this electronic exchange," Brian Foy, vice president of product development for Q-Centrix, said in a press release.

Here are five key findings from the survey.

1. Most (83 percent) of respondents said their organization successfully submitted eCQM data to CMS by the deadline.

2. Of those who submitted data, 87 percent said they reviewed the results of the submission.

3. Just 33 percent said they plan to develop action plans based on the data submitted to CMS.

4. Few respondents (38 percent) said they were very confident the submitted measures would pass quality thresholds, and 24 percent believed none of their submissions would pass quality thresholds.

5. The survey also collected feedback from participants. One participant said the measures "have little meaning to overall patient care in our facility." Another said they were "not confident enough in the data to really use it to improve patient care."

To improve the data and make it actionable from a quality standpoint, Mr. Foy tells Becker's hospitals should have health IT and quality professionals cultivate close relationships and work together on the issue. Instead of putting CIOs in charge of eCQM data, hospitals should frame it as a quality problem and view the IT team as a "resource for the quality team to accomplish a goal."

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