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  • Review Examines Quality Improvement Measurement of Outcomes for People With Disabilities

    Care coordination literature for people with disabilities is relatively new and focuses on initial implementation of interventions rather than assessing the quality of the implementation, says a new review commissioned by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The review is part of a series that provides a critical analysis of existing literature on quality improvement strategies and issues for topics identified by the 2003 Institute of Medicine report Priority Areas for National Action: Transforming Health Care Quality. As part of its charge to continuously assess progress toward quality and to update the list of priority areas, AHRQ identified people with disabilities as a priority population.

    For this review, the authors included all forms of disability except severe and persistent mental illness for all age groups in outpatient and community settings. They focused on outcomes, patient experience, and care coordination process measures. They searched for generic outcome measures rather than disability/condition-specific measures. They also looked for examples of outcomes used in the context of disability as a complicating condition for a set of basic service needs relevant to the general population, and secondary conditions common to disability populations.

    Of 15,513 articles screened, 15 articles were included for general outcome measures and 44 studies for care coordination.

    Overall, the reviewfound very few direct examples of work conducted from the perspective of disability as a complicating condition. "Capturing the disability perspective will require collaboration and coordination of measurement efforts across medical interventions, rehabilitation, and social support provision," the authors write.

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