Digital Quality Measures (dQM)

NCQA writes measures as computer code so you don’t have to.

Digital measures are digitalized versions of existing HEDIS® measures—the kind of measures that plans have used and reported to NCQA since the early 1990’s. HEDIS digital measures are machine-readable (i.e., written as computer code) and downloaded directly from NQCA’s Store.

Advantages of digital measures include:

  • Easier transfer of measures into your IT system.
    For years, people who work for health plans have bought human-readable, narrative descriptions of HEDIS measures, and then retyped into their IT systems what they understand those measures mean and intend. Machine-to-machine communication of digital measures means measures get into your computer systems quicker and easier—the right way, how the measure authors intended.
  • Less interpretation, recoding and human error.
    When NCQA writes measures as computer code, people who work for health plans are freed to improve quality. Being freed from interpreting and retyping measure specifications reduces the chance of human error.
  • Harmonization with industry standards.
    Our digital measures follow industry standards so HEDIS is easier to implement across the continuum of care.

Digitalized versions of existing measures are an important part of NCQA’s strategy to improve quality measurement and encourage health information exchange. We intend to make digital versions of existing HEDIS measures in batches over several years. In 2021, NCQA will offer HEDIS digital measures that use the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard. The FHIR standard enables better exchange of electronic health information and aligns with new regulations that support interoperability.

Read about our latest bundle of digital measures available in our Store.

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