The Importance criterion is the extent to which the specific measure focus is evidence-based and important to making significant gains in healthcare quality where there is variation in or overall less-than-optimal performance. Source: National Quality Forum. (2019). Measure Evaluation Criteria and Guidance for Evaluating Measures for Endorsement.
The initial population refers to all events to be evaluated by a specific quality measure involving patients who share a common set of specified characteristics within a specific measurement set to which a given measure belongs. All patients counted (for example, as numerator, as denominator) are drawn from the initial population.
An intermediate outcome measure is a measure that assesses the change produced by a healthcare intervention that leads to a long-term outcome.
An inverse measure is a measure where a lower performance rate is better. Therefore, a zero performance rate for these measures is a good score. For example, the National Healthcare Safety Network calculates most healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) as a standardized infection ratio (SIR). The SIR compares the actual number of HAIs (the numerator) with the predicted number based on the baseline U.S. experience (e.g., standard population), adjusting for several risk factors that have been found to be most associated with differences in infection rates. The goal is to have the numerator equal to or very close to zero thereby having an SIR equal to or very close to zero.