Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Quality Measures of Palliative and End-of-Life Care Endorsed by Panel

The Board of Directors of the National Quality Forum (NQF) approved endorsing 14 quality measures on palliative and end-of-life care, including pain management, psychosocial needs and care transitions.
"These palliative and end-of-life care measures are a welcome addition to the NQF portfolio," said June Lunney, PhD, RN, director of research at the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association and co-chair of the Palliative Care and End-of-Life Care Endorsement Maintenance Steering Committee. "As the number of palliative and end-of-life care programs continue to grow across the country, it's critical that providers have the right measurement tools to help ensure patients receive safe, high-quality, and compassionate care."

The endorsed measures include those previously endorsed by NQF and newly submitted measures for initial endorsement. Twelve measures are new. The ongoing evaluation and updating of endorsed measures ensures the currency and relevance of NQF's palliative and end-of-life care portfolio.

"Palliative care teams have been shown to help improve patient care quality throughout the course of treatment," said R. Sean Morrison, MD, director of the National Palliative Care Research Center and co-chair of the Palliative Care and End-of-Life Care Endorsement Maintenance Steering Committee. "This measure set will help support such efforts, such as enhanced treatment of pain and other symptoms, improved communication between providers and patients, fewer admissions to emergency departments, and increased patient satisfaction."
NQF is a voluntary consensus standards-setting organization that seeks to improve the quality of American healthcare.