CQAIMH - center for quality assessment and improvement in mental health

This section helps to guide you through the processes of identifying quality measures. For instructions, scroll down the page, or click on the links below.


Once you access the inventory's Overview page, several options are offered:

search for measures Search the inventory for quality measures meeting your organization's needs.
report measures Contribute measures or measurement data to the inventory.
sign in Join CQAIMH's mailing list for updates to the inventory and other quality initiatives.
glossary Look up definitions of terms used in the inventory and guide.

Specifying Search Parameters

After clicking "Search for Measures" on the introductory screen, you will be taken to the screen below. The search engine allows you to specify the type of measures needed based on your organization's clinical priorities and assessment needs. The search will return a list of measures meeting these specifications. Begin by selecting at least two parameters. Once you have made your selections, click on the 'Search' button.


Diagnosis: Are the quality improvement priorities of the organization specific to one or more categories of disorders? Many measures are specific to clinical diagnostic categories, including those below. Many other measures are not disorder-specific and can be used across diagnostic categories.

  • Depression
  • Personality Disorders
  • Schizophrenia/Psychoses
  • Substance Abuse/Dependence
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Other Diagnoses
  • Across Diagnoses

Population: Are the quality improvement priorities specific to one or more vulnerable populations?

  • Adults
  • Child/Adolescent
  • Elderly
  • Low Income
  • Race/Ethnicity/Culture
  • Pregnant Women
  • Dual Diagnosis

Clinical Setting: Traditional quality assurance activities focused on inpatient care. More and more, contemporary quality improvement examines treatment across the continuum of levels of care.

  • Inpatient
  • Outpatient
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatric or Substance Abuse Unit
  • Nursing
  • Residential Care
  • Home and Community
  • Hospice
  • ER

Domain of Quality: While the largest number of available quality measures focus on the treatment delivered, a number of other process domains are also subject to quality assessment and improvement.

  • Prevention/Detection
  • Access
  • Assessment
  • Treatment
  • Continuity
  • Coordination
  • Patient Safety & Errors

Treatment: Quality measures focusing on treatment are further categorized as examining biological, psychosocial, or other treatment subtypes.

  • Medication
  • Psychotherapy
  • Case Management (e.g. ACT, ICM)
  • Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Other Psychosocial Treatment
  • Other Somatic Treatment

Data Source: Data sources required by measures determine the effort and resources needed for data collection. What types of data are available in your organization? Are there resources available for medical record abstraction or patient surveys?

  • Administrative Data
  • Medical Records
  • Pharmacy Data
  • Laboratory Data
  • Provider Data
  • Clinician Survey
  • Patient Survey

Evidence Level: How important is a measure's basis in research evidence to your measure selection process. Specifying higher levels of evidence will result in fewer measures, but those provided include a summary of the research literature and references.

  • A-Level - Good research-based evidence
  • B-Level - Fair research-based evidence with supporting clinical consensus or opinion
  • C-Level - Little research evidence, primarily based on clinical consensus or opinion

Selecting Among Available Measures

A search request will yield a list of measures meeting the specified criteria. If a search returns too many measures, return to the search page and specify one or more additional parameters. If no measures meeting the criteria are available, try fewer or different parameters. Scroll through the list of measures using the 'next page' and 'previous page' links at the bottom of the screen.

Search Results

Accessing Measure Information

Each measure listed on the screen above is linked to information about the measure. Click on the measure title to access a measure report. This information is printable by scrolling to 'Print' under the 'File' window of your browser or by right clicking with the cursor on the page.

The measure report includes a brief summary of the measure, the clinical rationale and references, the numerator and denominator (if permitted by copyright), and other measure attributes. In addition, active links to measure developers and users are listed, along with standards, if any, set by these organizations for performance on the measure.

Measure Report

Contributing Data to the Inventory

You can contribute information from your organization's quality improvement activities to the inventory, allowing other organizations to learn from your experience, by clicking on the 'Report Measures' button located on the horizontal navigation bar. Types of information you can contribute include:

  • New measures
  • Alternate specifications of existing measures
  • Measure results from your organization
  • Standards for measures set by your organization
  • Interventions used to improve performance on measures
  • Research evidence/references in support of measures

Report Measures