The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has extended until Sept. 21 the comment period to a request for information about successful strategies and challenges to using information technology to measure the quality of care.

AHRQ expanded the comment period at the request of stakeholders who needed more time to answer the RFI's 15 questions. They cover such areas as the infrastructure needed to develop measures of interest to consumers, or assess value, or assess quality across care settings; how to motivate developers to create new electronic quality measures; and what types of quality measures could be supported by a combination of natural language processing and structured data, among other issues.

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Quality measures generally are conducted via capturing information from patient charts, manual chart abstraction and analysis of administrative claims data, the agency notes. “Some institutions have successfully used health I.T. to generate health I.T.-enabled quality measures which may be retooled versions of established paper-based or administrative data-driven quality measures, or (preferably) they are ‘de novo’ quality measures that were developed with the capabilities of health I.T. in mind,” according to the RFI, originally published in July and available here. “These new health I.T.-enabled quality measures seek to leverage the use of electronic clinical data capture, analysis and reporting to measure and report electronically enabled quality measures in order to facilitate improvements in the quality of care provided.”

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