CQAIMH - center for quality assessment and improvement in mental health

Accreditors - Organizations that certify healthcare institutions based on prespecified standards of quality

Administrative data - Data collected in computer databases in the course of healthcare delivery and payment, including beneficiary or enrollee information, service utilization, or pharmacy use

Benchmark - A standard of performance that serves as point of reference by which other organizations or individuals may be measured. Benchmarks describe the results of the best-performing organizations within an industry

Conformance - Acting in accordance with certain specified standards

Denominator - Provides explicit specification for the general or base population from which a specific characteristic is being examined

Domain of quality - The technical aspect of the process of care to which a measure or other tool applies. This includes:

Prevention - Screening or other clinical methods to prevent the occurrence or worsening of a health condition
Access - Availability of services, ease or difficulty of obtaining them, barriers (linguistic or cultural issues, geographic proximity, delays, etc.) that may be encountered
Assessment - Patient evaluations, including diagnostic, side effect, safety, medical and comorbidity issues
Treatment - The appropriate selection, dose, duration and intensity of a health care intervention
Continuity - Capacity of caregivers to maintain the patient's treatment during transitions between levels of care
Coordination - Capacity of members of the patient's treatment team to interact with others inside and outside of the team to ensure that the diverse needs of the patient are addressed
Safety - Issues of patient safety, including injuries, medication errors, avoidable adverse events, and the use of seclusion or restraint

Encounter - A meeting between clinician and patient

Evidence level - A rating to indicate the nature and quality of the scientific evidence a quality measure is based on

Fidelity - The degree to which an intervention conforms to a recommended set of critical ingredients or components

Guidelines - An outline of expected policy or conduct, often expressed in the form of a declarative statement, algorithm or decision tree

Instrument - A tool for measuring the present value of the quantity under question

Intake data - Data collected during the initial registration and assessment of a patient

Inventory - An itemized list of characteristics

Laboratory data - Provides information about clinical laboratory tests completed and their results

Medical records - Records kept by healthcare organizations on the patient's medical history and experiences

Norms - A widespread practice, procedure, or custom serving to guide appropriate behavior. May be used as a synonym for mean or average.

Numerator - Signifies the number of parts of the denominator being examined

Outcome - The results of a clinical intervention, such as changes in patient symptoms, functioning, or quality of life

Pharmacy data - A subtype of administrative or claims data, resulting from the disbursement, purchase or reimbursement for medications

Process - The interactions between patients and the healthcare system

Quality assessment - The evaluation of the inherent properties of any system and their level of excellence

Quality improvement - The improvement of the quality of service provided by remedying deficiencies in the structure and/or processes of a system

Quality management - The systematic assessment, improvement, and maintenance of quality within an organization

Rationale - Summarizes the clinical or administrative processes measured, why or how it is meaningful, and the research evidence supporting association of the process to quality of care

Reliability - The extent to which a measurement procedure yields the same results on repeated trials

Risk Adjustment - The statistical adjustment of data in quality assessment to control for factors outside the influence of the healthcare system; used in comparing quality among different groups of providers or systems

Risk management - The systematic effort to prevent harm to patients and the subsequent threat of financial loss by proactively identifying, evaluating and reporting adverse events or clinical concerns

Sampling - A method to make inferences about a whole population using a representative part or single item

Satisfaction - The level to which the customer or consumer is pleased with the quality of their interactions with the health care system

Stakeholders - Groups or individuals representing the interests of a demographic population, professional association, or institutional affiliation, including

  • accrediting organizations
  • public sector payers or purchasers
  • private sector employers or purchasers
  • clinicians
  • managed care organizations
  • health care delivery systems
  • researchers
  • consumers and their families

Standards - Thresholds established for conformance to quality measures by individuals or groups

Utilization management - Clinical and administrative mechanisms to regulate utilization, cost, appropriateness, and access to care

Validity - Degree to which an instrument has been shown to accurately represent what it is designed to represent.