Measuring complexity: Moving toward standardized quality measures for the field of complex care

Building the complex care field Measurement & evaluation Workforce development

For the field of complex care to show its value in improving outcomes and to evaluate programs’ delivery and impact, there is a need to identify and standardize measures that are used for evaluation and quality improvement.

One of the recommendations of the Blueprint for Complex Care was to develop standard quality measures for complex care programs beyond cost and utilization.

In response to this recommendation from the Blueprint, the National Center commissioned the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) to conduct a landscape analysis, interviews with subject matter experts, and a scan of existing quality measurement efforts pertaining to the field of complex care. The resulting report, Measuring complexity: Moving toward standard quality measures for the field of complex care, was written by Heidi Bossley, Faculty at IHI, and Keziah Imbeah, Research Assistant at IHI. The report:

  •  Documents the current state of quality measurement in complex care;
  •  Identifies key challenges associated with complex care; and
  •  Details current complex care research and measurement development efforts.

It also contains eight recommendations for next steps the field can take to develop a standard set of quality measures, including a proposed set of measurement domains and subdomains to structure future measure sets.

The National Center also developed an accompanying brief to provide an overview of the Measuring complexity report. The brief, Standardizing quality measurement in complex care, summarizes each of the four areas of findings in the report —  defining the population, data availability and potential sources, measurement domains, and measures and measure concepts — as well as the report’s eight recommendations.