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State of the Art Conference on the next generation of clinical performance measures

 Dr. Leonard Egede is a physician-researcher at the Charleston, S.C., VA Medical Center.
Dr. Leonard Egede is a physician-researcher at the Charleston, S.C., VA Medical Center. (Photo by Stacy Pearsall)

Dr. Leonard Egede is a physician-researcher at the Charleston, S.C., VA Medical Center. (Photo by Stacy Pearsall)

VA Research's Office of Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) periodically conducts State of the Art Conferences (SOTAs). These conferences bring together an invited multidisciplinary group of VA and non-VA experts to synthesize what we know and what we need to know about topics critical to the health and well-being of Veterans.

The conferences also promote implementation of findings that improve the quality of VA care and contribute to more effective management of the VA health care system, and more relevant research.

The 11th SOTA, the first to be held virtually, began in January 2014 and is still in progress. Entitled " Next Generation Clinical Performance Measures: Patient-Centered, Clinically Meaningful, and High Value," the conference is exploring VA's clinical performance measurement system.

VA's clinical performance management system helps the department understand its successes and challenges when it comes to providing top-notch medical care to Veterans. The process identifies gaps in care and management processes, and thereby leads to improvements.

For example, VA, like some other health systems, tracks how well providers are able to help patients achieve normal blood sugar or blood pressure levels. VA also follows whether patients are getting recommended preventive or screening procedures, such as breast and cervical cancer screenings, cholesterol screenings, and influenza immunizations.

Conference participants, including both VA and non-VA experts in performance measurement, are identifying the current state of the evidence on clinical performance measures and identifying areas that need further study. Their focus will be on areas where findings are ready for implementation.

One key goal is to make performance measures more personalized and clinically meaningful. Another is to find ways to better integrate patient preferences into the process of performance management.

Starting in January, the invitation-only SOTA held virtual work group meetings over a two-month period, with each of four work groups meeting for three 90-minute sessions. Each work group is now working on a summary of its deliberations for a plenary session to be held in May. A sub-group of the SOTA will then meet to develop additional products that may include a research agenda, manuscripts, and white papers.

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Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.