Other Types of Involvement
Measure developers and others addressing areas of quality may also gather input about their measures through other types of involvement, including focus groups, working groups, and one-on-one interviews.
In a focus group, a skilled facilitator guides a group of people (e.g., individuals receiving care, family representatives, clinicians, scientists) through a discussion by posing specific questions to the group about their own experiences with health and health care-related issues. Condition-based groups involve guided discussions among persons who have experience with the health condition relevant to the measure under development. Seasoned measure developers have found the ideal size for a discussion group is five or six persons, as the group is small enough to promote informal conversation yet large enough for the measure developer to hear multiple views. Recruiting widely is a good strategy for recruiting a diverse group representing a variety of perspectives.
Working groups are composed of a leader and five or six individuals such as individuals receiving care, family members, clinicians, and scientists. In the context of a working group, measure developers seek group input on a topic related to the measure(s) under development. Seasoned measure developers have discovered working groups often promote close partnerships among measure developers and their working group(s). When forming a working group or a focus group, measure developers should consider issues related to group composition (e.g., whether it is acceptable to have both individuals, family members, and clinicians in the same group), these groups may have very different perspectives on some topics.
In the context of an interview, the measure developer converses with one interested party at a time. Measure developers use this technique as a one-time information-gathering exercise. However one-on-one interviews can also be useful for touching base with interested parties to keep them engaged between Technical Expert Panel meetings or multiple working group meetings. An advantage of this technique is it enables the measure developer to obtain in-depth information, encourages ongoing participation in the measure development effort, and provides measure developers with the opportunity to answer interested parties’ questions.
A virtual community is a network of interested parties who interact through social media such as message boards, chat rooms, and social networking sites. Measure developers use virtual communities to promote discussion and commentary among interested parties about measure development through the use of focused questions and topic threads (e.g., describe your experience selecting a nursing home for your family member, what workflow issues have you encountered with electronic clinical quality measure [eCQM] implementation). This technique may provide valuable insight into an interested party's viewpoints. At all points in the Measure Lifecycle, measure developers can engage interested parties in the online panel to review and comment on information related to the measure and its development and maintenance. A caveat is that text-based, virtual community discussions may not yield responses representative of the interested party population at large.
Measure Collaboration Workspace
The Measure Collaboration Workspace (MC Workspace) has an eCQM Concepts module permitting anyone with an Electronic Clinical Quality Improvement (eCQI) Resource Center account to suggest a concept for an eCQM. This allows other interested parties (those with an eCQI Resource Center account) to provide feedback on the suggested eCQM concept. The MC Workspace has other modules designed to engage interested parties, eCQM Testing Opportunities, which announces opportunities to volunteer to test eCQMs, and the eCQM Data Element Repository. While the MC Workspace is likely to attract health care and health information technology professionals, anyone with an interest in eCQI can get an account.