The Performance and Standards Task Force (PSTF) was formed in May 2006 when SHM leadership recognized the need for a coordinated approach to working with other organizations in the quality arena.
A task force normally would have a beginning and an end to its scope of work. However, PSTF’s ongoing mission has matured, becoming more and more engaged in quality activities. In late fall 2007, the time had come for the PSTF to evolve into SHM’s Performance and Standards Committee (PSC).
What We Do
As SHM’s senior adviser for quality standards and compliance, I continue to work with PSC Chair Patrick Torcson, MD, along with senior staff and leadership of the Public Policy Committee (PPC), to monitor the national performance and quality landscape. The PSC, which engages with national organizations and is charged with developing performance measures and building consensus, also works to develop relationships with other professional medical societies and organizations.
Recognizing the need to communicate more frequently on SHM quality/policy issues related to quality improvement and patient safety, the PSC has also forged a stronger tie with the Hospital Quality and Patient Safety Committee (HQPSC) and was represented in the HQPSC-led Quality Summit in October.
Through the PSC, SHM has worked to influence performance measure development, consensus, and the endorsement process by joining the AMA Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement (PCPI) and the National Quality Forum (NQF).
SHM members have contributed to the process by participating in activities relevant to hospital medicine and building relationships with senior staff and leadership within these national stakeholder groups.
The PCPI is committed to enhancing quality of care and patient safety by taking the lead in the development, testing, and maintaining evidence-based clinical performance measures and performance measurement resources for physicians. The NQF is a nonprofit organization charged by Congress to endorse consensus-based national standards for measurement and public reporting of healthcare performance data. Beginning in 2006, the PCPI and NQF have worked to influence the development of physician-level performance measures as part of the CMS Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). Joining the PCPI has given SHM the opportunity to participate with other organizations on expert work groups to develop performance measures. SHM has been involved in performance measure development for topics such as geriatrics, emergency medicine, outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy, and anesthesiology issues including perioperative normothermia and critical care.
Many of these measures have been included in the PQRI program. SHM submitted feedback during public comment periods on measures related to perioperative care and chronic kidney disease. Most importantly, PCPI participation has given SHM high visibility among measurement stakeholder groups, including CMS and NQF. This has raised the acceptance of hospital medicine as a specialty, as well as the influence and credibility of SHM as a professional society.
As a collaborative effort on behalf of SHM, the PSC and PPC drafted and submitted a comment letter on the 2008 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Studies (CMS) Proposed Rule regarding the future of the PQRI. SHM has supported the CMS value-based purchasing initiative and the PQRI in general. The PSC recommended that CMS and national stakeholder groups like the PCPI and NQF re-evaluate the denominators of several measures, existing and proposed, to make them applicable to the inpatient setting for hospitalist reporting.
PSC senior staff attended the PCPI meeting in Chicago last October and met with Susan Nedza, MD, of the CMS Special Program Office, Value-Based Purchasing, to express SHM’s appreciation of increased CMS recognition of hospitalists through its quality initiatives. This also was an opportunity to receive input on additional ways hospitalists can become engaged in the 2008 PQRI and other CMS quality efforts.