Choosing practitioner performance indicators

Performance indicators, also known as performance measures, are predefined competency areas in which a practitioner’s performance is evaluated. Traditionally, this evaluation has focused on clinical proficiency. Increasingly, however, organizations are expected to take a more holistic view of practitioner performance, considering not only clinical ability, but also clarity of communication and impression on others.

As key drivers of healthcare quality and efficiency, performance indicators are leveraged in an array of quality monitoring and improvement initiatives at the individual, organization, and industry level. Additionally, they may pertain to specific practice area, several specialties, or the entire medical staff within an organization. Given their far reach, measures derive from a variety of sources, including regulatory and accreditation requirements, national and industry standards, evidence-based best practices, and internal initiatives. In many cases, basing internal performance indicators on those used in broader quality programs can streamline data collection and reporting, grant access to industry-level competence information, and foster widespread commitment to overarching care goals. In recognition of these opportunities, many of the indicators featured throughout this book draw inspiration from measurement areas and approaches used in national quality initiatives.

There are no specifically required indicators for practitioner performance evaluation. Although there are many traditional indicators used in peer review, these are based on the CMS and Joint Commission requirements that the hospital monitors and evaluates certain functions (e.g., blood use, operative procedures) and conditions (e.g., mortality, complications). There also are required data for hospitals to collect regarding important processes, such as core measures. Practitioners may have a role in many of these measures, but the regulations do not define what indicators must be used on an individual level. Even with the adoption of the six core competencies for OPPE, The Joint Commission does not define what indicators are to be measured for each competency.
Thus, there is a great deal of flexibility in practitioner performance measurement.

Although valuable, this open-ended expectation can complicate the process of determining appropriate performance indicators for an individual organization. The best place to start is by deciding what to measure. Typically, processes and outcomes are most helpful in this regard.

Source: Performance Indicators

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Peer Review, OPPE, and FPPE, Quality