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Digital Quality Measures

​​The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has set the goal of advancing quality measurement by transitioning all quality measures used in its reporting programs to digital quality measures (dQMs). CMS has developed a dQM Strategic Roadmap to outline the strategy activities required to transition to digital measurement.

Advancements in the interoperability of health care data and requirements from CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) have created an opportunity to modernize CMS’s quality measurement systems. The ONC 21st Century Cures Act final rule requires health information technology (IT) developers to update their certified health IT to support Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) Release 4 and specific data standards. Aligning technology requirements for health care providers, payers, and health IT developers allows for advancement of an interoperable health IT infrastructure that ensures providers and patients have access to health data when and where it is needed.

CMS has outlined four domains to enable transformation of the quality measurement enterprise:

  • improve data quality
  • advance technology
  • optimize data aggregation
  • enable alignment of data, tools, and measures

For each of these four domains, CMS will evolve technical components, leverage policymaking, and engage stakeholders to improve patient care and support the transition to digital quality measurement over the coming years. This figure depicts the four key foci to advance digital quality measurement: improve data quality, advance technology, optimize data aggregation, and enable alignment.​

BP Overview


dQM Strategic Roadmap Documentation


FY 2022 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS)/Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS) final rule: Advancing to Digital Quality Measurement and the Use of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) in Hospital Quality Programs—Request for Information

August 2021

CY 2022 Physician Fee Schedule final rule: Advancing to Digital Quality Measurement and the Use of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) in Physician Quality Programs—Request for Information

November 2021

dQM Strategic Roadmap April 2022
dQM Strategic Roadmap Executive Summary Slide Deck April 2022

What are dQMs?

CMS’s draft definition for digital quality measures (dQMs) is: quality measures, organized as self-contained measure specifications and code packages, that use one or more sources of health information that is captured and can be transmitted electronically via interoperable systems. Data sources for dQMs may include administrative systems, electronically submitted clinical assessment data, case management systems, electronic health records, laboratory systems, prescription drug monitoring programs, instruments (for example, medical devices and wearable devices), patient portals or applications (for example, for collection of patient-generated data such as a home blood pressure monitor, or patient-reported health data), health information exchanges, or registries, and other sources.


How do dQMs contribute to a learning health system?

Digital measurement is one component of a learning health system. In a learning health system, standardized and interoperable digital data from a single point of collection support multiple use cases, including quality measurement, quality improvement efforts, clinical decision support, research, and public health. Data used for quality measurement, as well as other use cases, should be a seamless outgrowth of data generation from routine clinical and administrative workflows. This approach supports data analysis, rapid-cycle feedback, and quality measurement that are aligned for continuous improvement in patient-centered care.


Introduction to Digital Quality Measures

Digital Quality Measurement Strategic Roadmap

Last Updated: Sep 19, 2022