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Issue Brief
May 2014

Measuring Health Care Quality: An Overview of Quality Measures

When we measure the quality of health care, we learn how well our health care system is performing. We learn which providers consistently deliver good, evidence-based treatment. And if providers and health plans aren’t providing effective care, we can use quality data to pinpoint where they should improve. For consumers, measuring the quality of health care means that they can access that information to make informed decisions about the best doctors and hospitals for their treatment.

In our brief, “Measuring Health Care Quality: An Overview of Quality Measures” (PDF) we define the critical role that quality measurement plays in today’s health care system, particularly in improving the quality of health care that patients receive. Our infographic looks at how a quality measure is developed, using a common blood test for diabetes patients as an example.

Our brief answers these questions:

  • What are the types of quality measures?
  • How are quality measures developed?
  • Where do data on health quality come from?
  • How are quality measures used?
  • What’s next in quality measurement?