Why We Measure

Each metric selected must satisfy one or more of the following cardinal purposes:

  1. Quality Improvement: The results will drive and inform quality improvement within and across sites.

  2. Program Evaluation: The results will help evaluate the initiative and whether the processes and leadership of the change work has been performed effectively.

  3. Knowledge contributions: The results will contribute to healthcare and public health care knowledge in ways that further expansion of needed services.

  4. Business Case: The results prove the return on investment or otherwise make the business case to fund palliative care services to senior leaders, payers and policymakers, which results in improved health plan benefits and policy changes that facilitate funding of palliative care services.

Principles for Washington Rural Palliative Care Initiative

  • Any selected measure should satisfy one and ideally several of the goals for metrics stated above. “Good or interesting to know” is not a reason.
  • The work to collect the measure should be equal to the value from the resulting data.
  • Burden of measurements should be continually minimized and to the extent possible embedded in existing systems and documents


Palliative Care Data Collection Dictionary

Example tool to define use of the data collection sheet used by Stratis Health in their work in rural Minnesota.

Palliative Care Measures

A report by Stratis Health on their work in rural Minnesota.

Patient Experience Measures for Outpatient Palliative Care Settings

In 2018, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care (NCHPC), and the RAND Corporation embarked on a multiyear project funded by CMS to engage palliative care stakeholders in the development of two patient-centered quality measures of symptom management and communication. This research brief describes how these measures were developed and tested and provides considerations for providers that plan to use them.

The California Health Care Foundation Palliative Care Measures Menu

Designed for palliative care leaders, quality professionals, and administrators, the Palliative Care Measure Menu simplifies the task of reviewing possible measures, enabling users to quickly and efficiently select a feasible, balanced portfolio of measures that mirror the scope and focus of a given PC program.

Metrics and Measurement for Palliative Care

This is the fifth course in the 11-part series of Building a Community-Based Palliative Care Program. You can take this single course or the entire series sponsored by California State University Institute for Palliative Care.

Measuring What Matters Most

Measuring What Matters (MWM) is a consensus recommendation for a portfolio of performance measures for all hospice and palliative care programs to use for program improvement. The Measuring What Matters team identified existing indicators that were then rated by multiple panels to ultimately determine the Top 10 Measures that Matter.

Peace Quality Measures

PEACE quality measures address domains of quality of care included in the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care and endorsed by the National Quality Forum. Materials were developed by a research team from The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME) and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, under contract to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Palliative Care Patient Tracker

An example Excel-based data collection sheet used for patient-level measures by Stratis Health in their work in rural Minnesota.

Palliative Care Endorsement Summary

February 2012 publication by National Quality Forum describing their work to endorse palliative care and end of life measures.

Palliative Care Off Cycle Final Report

A technical report from National Quality Forum from 2017 updating and reviewing the palliative care and end of life measures they endorsed in 2012.

Are Your Surveys Only Suitable for Wrapping Fish: This timeless article challenges thinking about patient satisfaction surveys and explores other solutions.