About eCQI

Electronic Clinical Quality Improvment (eCQI)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) are working to improve the health of our nation by transforming care from a volume-based, provider-centered system to a patient-centered, learning health system. This work includes using quality measurement to improve care given to patients by measuring how patients are treated and, most importantly, how well those patients do afterward. Electronic clinical quality improvement (eCQI) provides common standards and shared technologies to monitor and analyze the quality of health care provided to patients and patient outcomes.

Electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) measure the performance of hospitals, clinicians, and others who provide healthcare services. The “e” in eCQMs means that performance is measured using data pulled from an EHR. eCQMs include data elements, logic, and definitions in a Health Level Seven International (HL7) standard, which represent a clinical quality measure in an electronic document that can be captured, stored, shared, and read electronically. Measures submitted via attestation method are referred to as CQMs, and those reported electronically as eCQMs.

Currently eCQMs primarily look back at recent activities to determine whether the evidence-based standard of care was adhered to for each patient. The next stage of quality improvement for healthcare transformation consists of using clinical decision support (CDS) and eCQMs together to improve quality. Rather than limiting quality improvement to retrospective measurement, we are moving to provide standards to express CDS that uses evidence-based medicine and the patient’s own history, preferences, and data to customize care recommendations and actions for each individual patient. ONC’s Health IT enabled quality vision outlines how these innovations will ensure more consistent care across the nation, while facilitating better care aligned to evidence-based guidelines, less documentation burden to care providers and ultimately, better patient outcomes.

CMS and many private payers are committed to payment models that reward this transformation by incentivizing better outcomes and lower costs through quality improvements and efficiencies that better address patient needs and preferences.

CMS and ONC support this transformation by working to align measure components, tools, and standards and through stakeholder engagement. The majority of tools and resources referenced within this website are openly available and are provided for stakeholder use. They provide a foundation for the development, testing, certification, implementation, reporting, and continuous evaluation of eCQMs and CDS tools.

The eCQI Resource Center is an effort to bring together stakeholders from across the eCQI community and provide a centralized location for news, information, tools, and standards related to eCQI and eCQMs.

Connect

Visit the Engagement Page for opportunities to become active in the eCQI Community.

Submit News, Events & Content requests directly to  ecqi-resource-center@hhs.gov

For more information about the eCQI Resource Center, view frequently asked questions and/or download the eCQI Resource Center Fact Sheet.

Last Updated: April 19, 2018