Digital Quality Measures (dQM)

NCQA writes measures as computer code so you don’t have to.

Digital measures are digitalized versions of existing HEDIS measures—the kind of measures that plans have used and reported to NCQA since the early 1990’s.

That means the digital measures discussed below:

  • Use traditional reporting methods.
  • Are machine-readable, i.e., written as computer code.
  • Are downloaded directly from our Store.

Advantages of digital measures include:

  • Easier transfer of measures into your IT system.
    For years, people who work for health plans have bought human-readable, narrative descriptions of HEDIS measures, and then retyped into their IT systems what they understand those measures mean and intend.Machine-to-machine communication of digital measures means measures get into your computer systems quicker and easier—the right way, how the measure authors intended.
  • Less interpretation, recoding and human error.
    When NCQA writes measures as computer code, people who work for health plans are freed to improve quality. Being freed from interpreting and retyping measure specifications reduces the chance of human error.
  • Harmonization with industry standards.
    Our digital measures follow industry standards so HEDIS is easier to implement across the continuum of care.This consistency and standardization means providers can measure themselves using the same clinical constructs that they do when they report HEDIS results to health plans.

Digitalized versions of existing measures are an important part of our strategy to make it easier for health plans and others to measure quality.

We intend to make digital versions of existing HEDIS measures in batches over several years.

Read about our latest bundle of digital measures available in our Store.

ECDS: Also Digital, But Different

A subset of digital measures does not use traditional reporting methods.

Instead, a small but growing cross-section of HEDIS measures use Electronic Clinical Data Systems (ECDS) reporting.

All ECDS measures are digital, but not all digital measures are ECDS.

See the next section of The Future of HEDIS to learn:

  • What sets ECDS apart from traditional paper-based measures.
  • What sets ECDS apart from the digitalized measures discussed above.
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