Enhanced Quality Measurement Event Detection: An Application to Physician Reporting. EGEMS (Washington, DC) Tamang, S. R., Hernandez-Boussard, T. n., Ross, E. G., Gaskin, G. n., Patel, M. I., Shah, N. H. 2017; 5 (1): 5


The wide-scale adoption of electronic health records (EHR)s has increased the availability of routinely collected clinical data in electronic form that can be used to improve the reporting of quality of care. However, the bulk of information in the EHR is in unstructured form (e.g., free-text clinical notes) and not amenable to automated reporting. Traditional methods are based on structured diagnostic and billing data that provide efficient, but inaccurate or incomplete summaries of actual or relevant care processes and patient outcomes. To assess the feasibility and benefit of implementing enhanced EHR- based physician quality measurement and reporting, which includes the analysis of unstructured free- text clinical notes, we conducted a retrospective study to compare traditional and enhanced approaches for reporting ten physician quality measures from multiple National Quality Strategy domains. We found that our enhanced approach enabled the calculation of five Physician Quality and Performance System measures not measureable in billing or diagnostic codes and resulted in over a five-fold increase in event at an average precision of 88 percent (95 percent CI: 83-93 percent). Our work suggests that enhanced EHR-based quality measurement can increase event detection for establishing value-based payment arrangements and can expedite quality reporting for physician practices, which are increasingly burdened by the process of manual chart review for quality reporting.

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