Twelve quality measures aimed at improving care for patients with kidney disease were recently endorsed by the National Quality Forum (NQF). The metrics cover several areas of renal care, including anemia, dialysis adequacy, and vascular access. “These measures will help ensure renal patients receive safe, high-quality, and compassionate care throughout the course of treatment,” said the president and CEO of NQF, Janet Corrigan, PhD, MBA.
Thirty-three possible measures for renal care were evaluated and then narrowed to the 12 endorsed by the NQF board of directors. Three new measures—for anemia and cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney disease—were added to the nine metrics previously endorsed by NQF.
The NQF renal quality measures pertain to aspects of care for patients with chronic kidney disease, end stage renal disease, and those undergoing dialysis. They include the serum phosphorus concentration in dialysis patients, metrics targeted at reducing the use of catheters and increasing the use of arteriovenous fistulas in vascular access for hemodialysis, and a risk-adjusted standardized mortality ratio for dialysis facilities.
Created to improve health care quality, the NQF works to find consensus on national goals for performance improvement, endorses standards for measuring performance, and promotes these goals through education and outreach. The NQF kidney disease criteria were determined in collaboration with several stakeholders including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Kidney Care Quality Alliance, and the American Medical Association Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement
Members of the kidney community have until May 1, 2012, to appeal any of the 12 endorsed quality measures before final approval by NQF.