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Effective Health Care Program

Outcome Measures Framework (OMF)

Abstract

Significant variation exists in both the types and definitions of outcome measures used in patient registries, even within the same clinical area. This variation reduces the utility of registries, making it difficult to compare, link, and aggregate data across the spectrum of clinical care and reporting. To address this variation, AHRQ developed the Outcome Measures Framework (OMF). The OMF is a conceptual model for classifying outcomes that are relevant to patients and providers across most conditions. The OMF is intended to serve as a content model for developing harmonized outcome measures in specific disease areas.

AHRQ is now assessing the feasibility of using the OMF to develop standardized libraries of outcome measures in five condition areas:

These condition areas represent diverse populations and care settings, different treatment modalities, and different levels of harmonization. For each clinical area, the relevant registries will be identified and registry sponsors, informaticists, and clinical subject matter experts will be invited to participate in a registry group that will focus on harmonization of outcome measures through a series of in-person and web meetings. A stakeholder group including payers, patient representatives, and health system leaders will be assembled to discuss challenges and provide feedback on the harmonization effort.

A key goal of this effort, which is supported by the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund, is to standardize the definitions of the components that make up the outcome measures, so that those using the measures can understand the level of comparability across different systems and studies.  The resulting library of outcome measures will be made available for public comments and housed in the publicly available web-based Outcome Measure Repository (OMR) to facilitate the use of the harmonized measures across the spectrum of clinical care and reporting, including in EHRs, quality measures, and clinical research.

Learn more about the OMF by accessing completed reports and publications.