Features  |   November 2015
Performance and Outcomes Measurement: A Primer for Residents
Author Affiliations
  • Marissa W. Mery, M.D., M.B.A.
    Committee on Performance and Outcomes Measurement
  • Christopher J. Curatolo, M.D., M.E.M.
    Committee on Performance and Outcomes Measurement
Article Information
Education / CPD / Quality Improvement / Features
Features   |   November 2015
Performance and Outcomes Measurement: A Primer for Residents
ASA Monitor 11 2015, Vol.79, 20-21.
ASA Monitor 11 2015, Vol.79, 20-21.
The percentage of physicians measuring and reporting outcomes to specialty-specific and government registries has climbed in recent years as a result of payer incentives, federal mandates and an improved understanding of how measuring outcomes improves patient care. While individual institutions have tracked their outcomes for decades, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and discipline-specific data registries such as the Anesthesia Quality Institute (AQI) National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry (NACOR) have created a national perspective on practice patterns and results.
Although federal mandates for reporting and financial incentives in health care are relatively new, the utilization of outcomes measurement to improve performance has been active for decades. As early as the 1930s, E.A. Codman, a physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital, advocated “the common sense notion that every hospital should follow every patient it treats, long enough to determine whether or not the treatment has been successful, and then to inquire, ‘If not, why not?’ with a view to preventing similar failures in the future.”1  Many institutions shared this belief and created metrics to measure their practices. However, the Institute of Medicine’s 1999 publication To Err Is Human, which revealed that up to 98,000 deaths annually were preventable, thrust quality assessment and improvement into a national focus. An outcry for nationally recognized metrics, standards and reporting ensued.
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