Candidate Quality Measures for Hand Surgery.
PURPOSE: Quality measures are tools used by physicians, health care systems, and payers to evaluate performance, monitor the outcomes of interventions, and inform quality improvement efforts. A paucity of quality measures exist that address hand surgery care. We completed a RAND/UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) Delphi Appropriateness process with the goal of developing and evaluating candidate hand surgery quality measures to be used for national quality measure development efforts. METHODS: A consortium of 9 academic upper limb surgeons completed a RAND/UCLA Delphi Appropriateness process to evaluate the importance, scientific acceptability, usability, and feasibility of 44 candidate quality measures. These addressed hand problems the panelists felt were most appropriate for quality measure development. Panelists rated the measures on an ordinal scale between 1 (definitely not valid) and 9 (definitely valid) in 2 rounds (preliminary round and final round) with an intervening face-to-face discussion. Ratings from 1 to 3 were considered not valid, 4 to 6 as equivocal or uncertain, and 7 to 9 as valid. If no more than 2 of the 9 ratings were outside the 3-point range that included the median (1-3, 4-6, or 7-9), the panelists were considered to be in agreement. If 3 or more of the panelists' ratings of a measure were within the 1 to 3 range and 3 or more ratings were in the 7 to 9 range, the panelists were considered to be in disagreement. RESULTS: There was agreement on 43% (19) of the measures as important, 27% (12) as scientifically sound, 48% (21) as usable, and 59% (26) as feasible to complete. Ten measures met all 4 of these criteria and were, therefore, considered valid measurements of quality. Quality measures that were developed address outcomes (patient-reported outcomes for assessment and improvement of function) and processes of care (utilization rates of imaging, antibiotics, occupational therapy, ultrasound, and operative treatment). CONCLUSIONS: The consortium developed 10 measures of hand surgery quality using a validated methodology. These measures merit further development. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Quality measures can be used to evaluate the quality of care provided by physicians and health systems and can inform quality and value-based reimbursement models.
Hand Surgery Quality Consortium,
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