Merger Makes a Stronger NQF

The movement to improve health care quality has been underway for decades. There has been progress on several fronts, especially recently including greater awareness of the problem, agreement on how to measure and report quality, and even growing consensus about the best ways to deliver the highest quality care in a clinical setting. At the same, there has been confusion about roles and responsibilities in the quality improvement arena. There are a growing number of organizations today, representing varying interests in the quality effort. In some cases, the work they do is complementary; in others, it's conflicting or confusing.

I am happy to report that with the recent merger of the National Quality Forum and the National Committee for Quality Health Care, we are making strides in coordinating and advancing two important quality initiatives building national consensus on quality measures, and providing education and outreach to those who deliver care on the frontlines. There is little use for national standards and measures that are not well understood and adopted by providers. Moreover, education and outreach to providers about quality is much more valuable when promoting measures that have been created through a national consensus process.

While I know these combined organizations will have an even greater impact on health care quality improvement nationally, my reason for being encouraged is not only based in the services each group provides. Even more so, I am optimistic because the combined new organization is going to be led by Janet Corrigan, PhD, MBA.

Janet Corrigan has long been one of the nation's key leaders in health care quality. She has had major positions in a number of the key institutions in this field. She excels at working with the many quality improvement organizations and driving an agenda for dramatic improvements in health care quality. Janet has demonstrated success throughout her career, and her commitment and passion for improving the quality of care in America is contagious.

I am personally very excited about the future of the National Quality Forum. Not only because it is a stronger organization after its reconstitution, but because I know Janet and the dedicated staff of the new NQF will make a significant impact on advancing quality improvement far beyond where we have come so far. As chair of the NQF's board, I am grateful to play a small role in guiding the organization. I know that with Janet's leadership, the National Quality Forum will not only thrive health care quality will advance.

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