NQF supports 12 new end-of-life quality measures

By Stephanie Bouchard
10:42 AM

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has announced its endorsement of 12 new quality measures for palliative and end-of-life care.

“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,” said June Lunney, in a statement announcing the measures. Lunney serves as the director of research at the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association and as co-chair of the Palliative Care and End-of-Life Care Endorsement Maintenance Steering Committee at NQF.

[See also: NQF endorses four new patient quality care measures .]

The endorsed measures include 12 new measures and two previously endorsed measures. The measures cover pain management, psychosocial needs, care transitions and experiences of care, and include:

  • 1634: Hospice and Palliative Care- Pain Screening (UNC) (paired with measure 1637)

  • 1637: Hospice and Palliative Care – Pain Assessment (UNC) (paired with measure 1634)

  • 1617: Patients treated with an Opioid who are given a bowel regimen (RAND)

  • 1628: Patients with advanced cancer assessed for pain at outpatient visits (RAND)

  • 1638: Hospice and Palliative Care- Dyspnea Treatment (UNC) (paired with measure 1639)

  • 1639: Hospice and Palliative Care – Dyspnea Screening (UNC) (paired with measure 1638)

  • 1626: Patients admitted to the ICU who have care preferences documented (RAND)

  • 1641: Hospice and Palliative Care- Treatment Preferences (UNC)

  • 1647: Percentage of hospice patients with documentation in the clinical record of a discussion of spiritual/religious concerns or documentation that the patient/caregiver did not want to discuss (Deyta)

  • 0209: Comfortable dying (NHPCO) (maintenance)

  • 1625: Hospitalized patients who die an expected death with an ICD that has been deactivated (RAND)

  • 0208: Family Evaluation of Hospice Care (NHPCO) (maintenance)

  • 1632: CARE- Consumer Assessments and Reports of End of Life (Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research)

  • 1623: Bereaved Family Survey (PROMISE Center)

“As the number of older adults in this country continues to grow, palliative and end-of-life care services are needed more than ever,” said Janet Corrigan, president and CEO of NQF, in a statement. “This set of measures will help promote the type of high-quality care older people and acutely ill patients deserve.”

[See also: NQF publishes new clinical data set.]

For this project, NQF officials said they sought measures focused on care concerns such as managing pain, weight loss, and depression. They also sought measures that would directly assess – and improve over time – the experience of patients undergoing palliative and end-of- life care, as well as the experience of their families. In all, 22 measures were evaluated against NQF's endorsement criteria by a panel of providers, measurement experts, and consumer representatives; 14 measures (including 12 new measures) were endorsed.

Because NQF is a voluntary consensus standards-setting organization, officials of the organization said anyone can request a re-evaluation of the endorsed measures by submitting an appeal to NQF by March 14.