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A new era of quality measurement in rheumatology


Purpose of review

This article reviews the evolution of quality measurement in rheumatology, highlighting new health-information technology infrastructure and standards that are enabling unprecedented innovation in this field.

Recent findings

Spurred by landmark legislation that ties physician payment to value, the widespread use of electronic health records, and standards such as the Quality Data Model, quality measurement in rheumatology is rapidly evolving. Rather than relying on retrospective assessments of care gathered through administrative claims or manual chart abstraction, new electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) allow automated data capture from electronic health records. At the same time, qualified clinical data registries, like the American College of Rheumatology's Rheumatology Informatics System for Effectiveness registry, are enabling large-scale implementation of eCQMs across national electronic health record networks with real-time performance feedback to clinicians. Although successful examples of eCQM development and implementation in rheumatology and other fields exist, there also remain challenges, such as lack of health system data interoperability and problems with measure accuracy.


Quality measurement and improvement is increasingly an essential component of rheumatology practice. Advances in health information technology are likely to continue to make implementation of eCQMs easier and measurement more clinically meaningful and accurate in coming years.

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