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September 2017

Core Quality and Outcome Measures for Pediatric Health

Author Affiliations
  • 1Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 2Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(9):827-828. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.1685

We call for a national effort to develop a parsimonious set of quality and outcome measures for children. The target users are health care organizations that are accountable for large pediatric populations. These organizations need an efficient set of measures that will direct them toward meaningful health improvement efforts and that capture the health care needs of their communities.

Currently, measure sets are primarily derived from administrative data and aimed at addressing disorders or processes rather than child well-being and outcomes. Claims-based measures have their place, but they only look at what clinicians get paid for and lack sufficient clinical detail. Measures focused on specific conditions and related processes are, likewise, essential. But the proliferation of these measures has created large reporting burdens with limited benefits. To that end, we discuss: (1) why we need a parsimonious set of quality and outcome measures, (2) why a distinctively pediatric solution is needed, (3) why community health measures are needed, and (4) how to move toward identifying this measure set.