Explore this issue:April 2013
A natural outgrowth of the decades-long movement toward evidence-based medicine is an increased focus on the assessment of physician performance in applying the best evidence to diagnose and treat a patient with a specific condition. To this end, quality of care measures are being developed for specific conditions within most specialties to guide physicians and assess their performance in implementing the best care based on the most up-to-date evidence.
Two current initiatives offer otolaryngologists a way to join the growing ranks of physicians in other specialties who are using quality measures to assess their performance. In 2008, the American Head and Neck Society (AHNS) launched quality of care measures for oral cavity cancer. In February 2013, the American Board of Otolaryngology (ABOto) rolled out a Performance Improvement Module (PIM) on oral cavity cancer that uses the AHNS quality measures. The PIM is one component of Part IV of the Maintenance of Certificattion (MOC) program offered by ABOto.
“The aim of both initiatives is to provide feedback to otolaryngologists on their strengths as well as on areas that need improvement in diagnosing and treating patients with oral cavity cancers,” said Robert H. Miller, MD, executive director of ABOto and physician editor of ENTtoday, who hopes physicians will participate in the initiatives in the spirit in which they were developed, not as a stick but as a carrot to encourage participation to improve performance and, ultimately, patient outcomes.