How We Assess Quality


To make informed decisions, patients need the ability to compare quality data across health care institutions – within our system and elsewhere. That’s why we report on the quality of care using the National Academy of Medicine’s assessment framework, a comprehensive set of quality criteria that are well-established in the health care industry.

The way we collect data, however, goes beyond traditional sources like insurance reporting. We measure quality by using data that our providers document every day from patients across our network – things like blood pressures and lab results. This information allows us to group patients and measure their care holistically, to assess if the right care was delivered at the right time. Unlike measures created by external parties, our confidential patient data resides within Partners HealthCare only and allows us to evaluate the quality of the care we deliver in a more timely and accurate way. 

According to the National Academy of Medicine’s framework, care should be:

  • Safe: Avoiding harm to patients from the care that is intended to help them.
  • Effective: Providing services based on scientific knowledge to all who could benefit and refraining from providing services to those not likely to benefit (avoiding underuse and misuse, respectively).
  • Patient-centered: Providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.
  • Timely: Reducing waits and sometimes harmful delays for both those who receive and those who give care.
  • Efficient: Avoiding waste, including waste of equipment, supplies, ideas, and energy.
  • Equitable: Providing care that does not vary in quality because of personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, geographic location, and socioeconomic status.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Learn more about the National Academy of Medicine.