Skip to main content

New to Measures

Get Started with Quality Measures

Whenever you attend a health care-related appointment, you may be asked a bunch of questions - some may be related to your visit and others may be more broad. Health care professionals use these questions and other tools to gather information to assess the quality of care. But that is just one example of quality measures in action. There are many ways for you to participate in quality measurement! See the Get Involved section for more information about how you may participate.

Quality Measure FAQs

What is health care quality measurement?

Health care quality measurement is the use of measures to assess a change in quality.

Why measure quality?

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” (Peter Drucker)

You want the best possible health care for you and your loved ones. Measuring performance of health care providers compared with best practices helps the provider know where they can improve, and you can review their performance via public reporting.

What is a quality measure?

Quality measures are standards for measuring the performance and improvement of population health or of health plans, providers of services, and other clinicians in the delivery of health care services. They are tools that help us measure or quantify health care processes, outcomes, patient perceptions, and organizational structure and/or systems that are associated with the ability to provide high-quality health care and/or that relate to one or more quality goals for health care.

What do they measure?

Each quality measure focuses on an aspect of health care delivery, and together quality measures and quality measurement provide a more comprehensive picture of the quality of health care. Quality measures address many parts of health care, including

  • Health outcomes
  • Clinical processes
  • Patient safety
  • Efficient use of health care resources
  • Care coordination
  • Patient engagement in their own care
  • Patient perceptions of their care
  • Population and public health
What are the parts of a quality measure?

A quality measure has several parts. At a minimum, a quality measure usually has

  • A title and description of what the measure is.
  • Numerator (also called the measure focus): describes the target process, condition, event, or outcome expected for the targeted population.
  • Denominator: defines the population being measured. It could be the entire population or a subset.

Some measures also have numerator and/or denominator exclusions and/or denominator exceptions, as well as other components. For more information, see the Measure Specification Overview.


How can I get involved?

There are numerous ways to get involved in quality measures and quality measurement. See the How to Get Involved in the Measure Lifecycle page.

Last Updated: