Conversations with my American colleague's this week have been about the difficult road to increasing access to medical services. Although accountable care organization (ACO) regulations are not yet availalbe, there seems to be a cottage industry in providing information concerning their administration, components, and financing. Although care coordination is at the heart of the ACO concept, I've seen very little ink dedicated to the topic until now. One of your health quality agencies has published the Care Coordination Measures Atlas. Below is a brief description and a link to the document. It is extremely comprehesive and should be a useful planning, monitoring, and quality improvement tool.
"This Atlas, and the measures it contains, represents early efforts in an emerging field. Care coordination is a complex concept, intertwined with many other concepts relating to quality, delivery, and organization of care. In its broadest sense, almost all aspects of health care and its delivery can be understood as part of care coordination. A very narrow definition, on the other hand, might encompass only a few of the domains included in the measurement framework presented in this report. The scope of the Atlas is purposefully broad in an attempt not to limit, but instead to stimulate, further thinking about which measures are most salient and useful to those working to improve the coordination of care.
Care Coordination Measures Atlas
The health care community is struggling to determine how to measure the extent to which care coordination activities are being implemented. AHRQ’s new Care Coordination Measures Atlas lists existing measures of care coordination, with a focus on ambulatory care, and presents a framework for understanding care coordination measurement. The Atlas is useful for evaluators of projects aimed at improving care coordination and for quality improvement practitioners and researchers studying care coordination.
Prepared by: Kathryn M. McDonald, M.M.1; Ellen Schultz, M.S.1; Lauren Albin, B.A.1; Noelle Pineda, B.A.1; Julia Lonhart, B.S., B.A.1; Vandana Sundaram, M.P.H.1, 3; Crystal Smith-Spangler, M.D., M.S.1, 3; Jennifer Brustrom, Ph.D.2, Elizabeth Malcolm, M.D., M.S.H.S.4