Click on the image above to download a PDF of NQF’s infographic on using Data for Systematic Improvement.

The National Quality Forum (NQF) announced in a press release that it has published a new white paper outlining strategies for making healthcare data more useful.

“Data to measure progress is fundamental to improving care provided to patients and their outcomes, but the healthcare industry has yet to fully capture the value of big data to engineer large-scale change,” NQF president and CEO, Christine K. Cassel, MD, said in the release. “This report outlines critical strategies to help make data more accessible and useful, for meaningful system wide improvement.”

In the report, contributors propose actions that stakeholders can take to enhance data collection and use findings to influence systemic improvement. Recommendations include: utilizing common metrics, increasing availability of Medicare data and heightening EHR interoperability.

Key themes in the report emphasize the need for a culture that embraces a data-driven approach to quality improvement as well as the significance of having staff with appropriate analytic skills. Authors of the report state:

“Raw data alone cannot lead to systematic improvement—it has to be turned into meaningful information, institutional leadership and culture have to support improvement efforts, and clinicians and healthcare staff need the skills to analyze and apply data.”

To download NQF’s full report, Data Needed for Systematically Improving Healthcare, click here.