Preferred Practices and Performance Measures for Measuring and Reporting Care Coordination


Care coordination is a vital aspect of health and healthcare services. When care is poorly coordinated—with inaccurate transmission of information, inadequate communication, and inappropriate follow-up care—patients who see multiple physicians and care providers can face medication errors, hospital readmissions, and avoidable emergency department visits. The effects of poorly coordinated care are particularly evident for people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, and those at high risk for multiple illnesses who often are expected to navigate a complex healthcare system. In this report, NQF has endorsed a portfolio of care coordination preferred practices and performance measures. These standards will provide the structure, process, and outcome measures required to assess progress toward care coordination goals and to evaluate access, continuity, communication, and tracking of patients across providers and settings. Given the high-risk nature of transitions in care, this work will build on ongoing efforts among the medical and surgical specialty societies to establish principles for effective patient hand-offs among clinicians and providers. Measurement and improvement efforts will be upgraded over time as interoperable health information technology (HIT) systems evolve.

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