CHICAGO – August 13, 2012 – The National Quality Forum (NQF) has endorsed 12 new quality measures pertaining to disparities and cultural competency, seven of which came from an American Medical Association (AMA) resource designed to assist hospitals and large group practices meet the needs of a diverse patient population. The resource, the Communication Climate Assessment Toolkit, is an organizational performance assessment toolkit.
“Effective, patient-centered communication is critical in delivering quality health care, but illness, fear, low literacy and diverse languages and cultures can make it difficult for health care professionals to communicate successfully with patients,” said AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, M.D. “We created this tool to help organizations evaluate and improve their communication with a diverse patient population, and we are proud that measures included in this toolkit have received NQF endorsement.”
The AMA submitted the toolkit to the NQF endorsement process, and NQF endorsed seven of the measures in the toolkit. NQF-endorsed measures go through an in-depth, rigorous process in which national experts determine that the measure meets certain criteria, including scientific acceptability, reliability and usability, among other criteria.
“Good communication is both an ethical imperative, necessary for informed consent and effective patient engagement, and a means to avoid errors, improve quality, lower costs and achieve better health outcomes,” said Dr. Lazarus.
The toolkit can be used by hospitals and large group practices to evaluate organizational performance in communication. Assessment results provide a reliable means of tracking performance over time and guiding decisions about tailoring quality improvement interventions. The toolkit was created by the AMA’s Ethical Force Program.
For more information on the toolkit, visit www.ama-assn.org/go/ccat.