IOM: 15 metrics track health progress in the US

The Institute of Medicine has identified a set of 15 standardized measures that could provide consistent benchmarks for the nation's health progress in a new report, titled Vital Signs: Core Metrics for Health and Health Care Progress.

The IOM committee believes that "the establishment of a core set of measures could improve efficiency and ensure a focus on the most important health outcomes," the report states.

The following are the 15 core measures developed by the IOM committee, listed along with where the nation is at currently for each metric:

1. Life expectancy: 79-year life expectancy at birth

2. Well-being: 66 percent report being healthy

3. Overweight and obesity: 69 percent of adults have a body mass index of 25 or greater

4. Addictive behavior: 200 addition deaths per 100,000 people age 15 years or older

5. Unintended pregnancy: 27 teen pregnancies per 1,000 females aged 15 to 19

6. Healthy communities: 80 percent of people graduate high school in four years

7. Preventive services: 68 percent of children are vaccinated by age three

8. Care access: 5 percent report unmet medical needs

9. Patient safety: 1,700 hospital patients per 100,000 have a hospital-acquired infection

10. Evidence-based care: 10,000 per 100,000 hospital admissions are preventable

11. Care match with patient goals: 92 percent of patients report satisfaction with patient-clinician communication

12. Personal spending burden: 46 percent of Americans spend more than 10 percent of their income on health or were uninsured in 2012

13. Population spending burden: $9,000 is the per capita spending on health in the U.S.

14. Individual engagement: 12 percent have proficient health literacy

15. Community engagement: 21 report inadequate social support

The report stresses that adopting and implementing these 15 measures will not be easy, in part due to competing priorities for stakeholders and the sheer enormity of the change proposed in the report. "The committee stresses that leadership will be required at nearly every level of the health system… [Leaders and agencies] will have important roles in the uptake, use, and maintenance of the core measures as practical tools," the report reads.

More articles on quality metrics:
Make population health management a reality
3 experts discuss quality metrics in healthcare: 9 takeaways
Stakes are rising for clinical quality: How to get the metrics right 

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