2nd Annual Digital Quality Summit: Recap and Key Takeaways

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On November 14 and 15, NCQA and HL7 hosted the second Digital Quality Summit at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

Nearly 250 people attended—more than twice the number than at our first summit in 2017.

The 2018 summit was an important step in transitioning HEDIS to a 21st-century model of deploying quality measures that improve health care.

Members from across the quality measurement environment gathered to discuss the intersection of health IT and quality measurement, and how electronic clinical data are being accessed and shared for effective quality improvement. Organizations from a wide spectrum of perspectives attended: Health plans, academic health centers, delivery systems, technology and analytics vendors, HEDIS auditors, standard developers all joined in the quest to identify best practices for sharing high-value clinical data among clinicians, plans and quality assessment organizations such as NCQA.

Summit highlights:

A digital measure concept is born! The summit’s most impressive accomplishment might be creating specifications for a new patient-centered rheumatoid arthritis measure. Beginning with only a few guidelines, participants drafted the measure concept and authored it as a digital measure—in just a day and a half!

To learn about ECDS is to like ECDS. Attendees who had reservations about electronic clinical data system (ECDS) reporting and the challenges of “digital HEDIS” were more comfortable with our strategic direction and goals by the end of the summit. Learning how NCQA plans to release the next-generation HEDIS helped attendees see how they can encourage the adoption of this new strategy.

Digital-HEDIS Paparazzi: Summit attendees were so excited by prospects for digital HEDIS they photographed a digital measure’s specifications when the specs appeared on screen.

Flipping and splitting really works. Most conferences involve dry presentations delivered to a captive audience—questions and discussions are squeezed in at the end. The Digital Quality Summit flips this format in favor of having attendees actually work!  We split into workgroups that tackled different measurement challenges. Bringing together experts from across the quality spectrum around a common goal ensured that everyone could learn and contribute.

People like to talk to people they don’t often get the chance to. The summit was an opportunity to experience the quality measure development process from all sides—and to express ideas for improving it.

Nontechnical people like learning from techies. For nontechnical QI professionals, working side by side with specialists was extremely useful. Having a variety of experts at each table was a great way to share best practices and unique solutions to common problems.

We’ve (still) got a lot of work to do. Even with all the interest in ECDS and the idea of a “modernized” HEDIS, the summit reminded us that we need to keep in touch with HEDIS users as we develop digital measures. Frequent, specific communication about next-generation HEDIS is vital.

We’ve got great partners! We thank HL7, our sponsors and the leaders of our workgroups for making the second Digital Quality Summit into a conference that works.

Learn more about the future of quality measurement in future editions of Quality Matters!

Alec Bose
Alec is a Communication Specialists responsible for Social Media and Internal Communications at NCQA. He is Passionate about Journalism, Media Production, and helping others. He has a background in Public Policy and Administration.

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