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Why You Need to Register for Our Health Care Quality Measures Course

August 25, 2015

The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC), in partnership with the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, will launch an educational course that addresses a critical topic among many health care stakeholders—quality measurement.

We asked Kimberly Westrich, vice president of health services research at NPC, to share why health care decision-makers including pharmacists, industry leaders, researchers and other quality measurement stakeholders need to sign-up for the online continuing education series, “Healthcare Quality: Measurement and Implications,” which provides a comprehensive overview of the health care quality landscape, including national priorities, and measure development, endorsement and implementation.

Here are her top three things registrants will learn:

How to become knowledgeable contributors to the ever-growing conversation on the shift from volume-based to value-based health care. While our health care payment and delivery systems have been shifting from volume-based to value-based care gradually over the past few years, the movement received a big boost from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services when it announced plans to broadly implement value-based care over the next two years. Value-based care and related initiatives are driven by the need to address poor health outcomes, rising costs, poorly aligned payment incentives, and wide variations in care. To track the progress being made in these areas, quality measures quantify health care processes, outcomes, patient perceptions and systems associated with high-quality health care (e.g., effective, safe, efficient, patient-centered, equitable, timely care).

What is being measured, and how and why it matters. There’s a lot of buzz about quality measures, but some stakeholders aren’t familiar with what they are or how they work. This course teaches you the fundamentals: the sequence of steps to develop quality measures; the evaluation criteria for quality measures that lead to endorsement by standard-setting organizations; the various Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services health care quality improvement programs; and how such public programs are drivers of quality in the private sector.

Which stakeholders are involved, and what their roles are in the health care quality improvement cycle. Various health care stakeholders such as health care providers, researchers, advocacy groups, government agencies and private industry are working in collaboration to improve health care quality. The course describes the collaborative processes comprising measure development and implementation, and explains how evidence is used in continuous health care quality improvement.

The course includes two interactive modules, “Healthcare Quality in the United States,” and “Quality Measurement in the Pharmaceutical Industry.” These modules represent 3.5 hours of Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) approved continuing education, and are available anytime and anywhere through an online portal. The course is taught by two experts in the health care quality field: University of Maryland’s Dr. Eleanor Perfetto, professor, pharmaceutical health services research, and Dr. Matthew Pickering, postdoctoral fellow, pharmaceutical health services research, and was developed with input and guidance from NPC’s Quality Measure Advisors.

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