LINCOLN, R.I., Jan. 30 As the healthcare industrystruggles to balance cost with quality, standardized and scientifically validoutcomes data provides real-time, actionable health information to supportclinical and business decision-making. In a recently published InvitedCommentary appearing in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology (JCE), Volume 61,Number 1, January 2008, John E. Ware, Jr., PhD, Chief Executive Officer andChairman of the Board of QualityMetric Health Outcomes Solutions, outlinesnoted improvements made to short-form health outcomes surveys (including theSF-36v2(R), SF-12v2(R), and SF-8(TM) Health Surveys), significantly increasingtheir usefulness and application and enhancing their value as a recognizedmeasurement standard for healthcare quality.
Ware's Invited Commentary also serves as introduction to a series ofQualityMetric articles scheduled to appear in the JCE throughout 2008.Article topics range from the detailed substantiation of improvements made to"static" (paper and pencil administered) outcomes surveys to evaluating themigration to electronic data capture using computer adaptive testing (CAT), ameasurement advancement first introduced to healthcare by QualityMetric overeight years ago. "Of note, we are publishing proof in the JCE article seriesthat our CAT software is a more practical and precise way of knowing what theSF-36v2(R) Health Survey, the world's most widely accepted standard foroutcomes measurement, tells us," commented Ware. "Practically speaking, we'remaking outcomes measurement faster, easier and more precise than ever before,while maintaining complete comparability with over 20 years of reliability andvalidity evidence and interpretation guidelines."
A second article in the QualityMetric series also appears in the JanuaryJCE issue. Evaluation of a Preliminary Physical Function Item Bank Supportsthe Expected Advantages of the Patient-Reported Outcomes MeasurementInformation System (PROMIS), details development of an item bank that buildson advancements made by QualityMetric over six years ago. PROMIS seeks toimprove and standardize tools of clinical research across multiple US NationalInstitutes of Health (NIH). As part of a five-year project that began in2004, PROMIS (www.nihpromis.org) has formed a cooperative network ofinstitutions. Ware serves as Co-Principal Investigator with Jim Fries, MD atStanford University, one of six PROMIS Primary Research Sites, with additionalsupport provided by QualityMetric's measurement science team, includingMatthias Rose, MD, PhD, lead author of the second article, and Jakob B.Bjorner, MD, PhD. "Investment in the early development of physical functionand other item banks by QualityMetric has proven to be very useful in testingimportant assumptions regarding the practical application of CAT inhealthcare," offered Ware. "We are gratified that these early efforts havesupported PROMIS and to be a part of this very esteemed collaboration."
QualityMetric's efforts to support the PROMIS initiative are complementedby the company's expansive scientific research and innovation agenda, whichincludes development of CAT measurement systems for all of the eight domainsof health as measured by the SF-36v2 and for disease-specific impact foradults with asthma, diabetes, obesity and coronary disease. The company isalso developing CAT systems for children to include both generic and disease-specific outcomes measurement. QualityMetric's CAT systems are referred to asdynamic health assessments (DYNHA(R)) and offer increased precision, mostnotably at the patient level, while achieving substantial reductions inrespondent burden. The advantages of DYNHA include faster, easier, cost-effective data collection with real-time reporting at patient and providerlevels.
QualityMetric's DYNHA development initiatives are supported by more than adozen Small Business Innovation Researc