• Assemble the scientific evidence on the efficacy and effectiveness of these interventions, including their use in varied age and ethnic groups; use a well-established approach to rate the strength of this evidence, and categorize the interventions accordingly; and recommend or endorse guidelines for the use of the evidence-based interventions for specific M/SU problems and illnesses.

  • Substantially expand efforts to attain widespread adoption of evidence-based practices through the use of evidence-based approaches to knowledge dissemination and uptake. Dissemination strategies should always include entities that are commonly viewed as knowledge experts by general health care providers and makers of public policy, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Office of Minority Health, and professional associations and health care organizations.

Recommendation 4-2. Clinicians and organizations providing M/SU services should:

  • Increase their use of valid and reliable patient questionnaires or other patient-assessment instruments that are feasible for routine use to assess the progress and outcomes of treatment systematically and reliably.

  • Use measures of the processes and outcomes of care to continuously improve the quality of the care provided.

Recommendation 4-3. To measure quality better, DHHS, in partnership with the private sector, should charge and financially support an entity similar to the National Quality Forum to convene government regulators, accrediting organizations, consumer representatives, providers, and purchasers exercising leadership in quality-based purchasing for the purpose of reaching consensus on and implementing a common, continuously improving set of M/SU health care quality measures for providers, organizations, and systems of care. Participants in this consortium should commit to:

  • Requiring the reporting and submission of the quality measures to a performance measure repository or repositories.

  • Requiring validation of the measures for accuracy and adherence to specifications.

  • Ensuring the analysis and display of measurement results in formats understandable by multiple audiences, including consumers,



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