National Academies Press: OpenBook

Clinical Practice Guidelines: Directions for a New Program (1990)

Chapter: Professional and Technical Usage

« Previous: The Committee's Definition: Standards of Quality
Suggested Citation:"Professional and Technical Usage." Institute of Medicine. 1990. Clinical Practice Guidelines: Directions for a New Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1626.
Page 48

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

DEFINITIONS OF KEY TERMS 48 might also be premature, given that the Department of Health and Human Services and Congress are considering a variety of policy and strategy issues related to broad questions of quality assurance and assessment. Decisions on these issues presumably should influence the Forum's work. PERFORMANCE MEASURES This concept is the most unfamiliar of the four terms in OBRA 89. It is seldom used in the professional literature and has a variety of dictionary definitions. Common Usage: The Dictionary Random House offers for performance "the manner in which or the efficiency with which something reacts or fulfills its intended purpose." The OED provides two relevant definitions for performance: "1. the carrying out of a demand, duty, purpose, promise, etc.; 2. the accomplishment, execution, . . .of anything ordered or undertaken." The OED gives many different definitions for measure. As a verb, these include "1. to form an estimate of (now especially to weigh or gauge the character or ability of something [e.g., a person]), with a view to what to expect [from that person]; 2. to ascertain or determine the spatial magnitude or quantity of [something] by application or comparison to some known or fixed unit; 3. to estimate the amount, duration, value, etc., of an immaterial thing [perhaps, performance] by comparison with some standard; 4. to judge or estimate the greatness or value of (a person, a quality) by a certain standard or rule; and to appraise by comparison with something else." As a noun, the definitions of measure include "1. an instrument for measuring [e.g., a vessel, graduated rod, line, tape, etc. . . .]; and 2. a method of measuring, especially a system of standard denomination of units of length [etc.]." Professional and Technical Usage The term performance measure has been used by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, but the commission intends, in the future, to substitute the term indicator (R. Marder, project manager, Indicator Development, personal communication, April 24, 1990). Committee staff found virtually no discussion of performance measures in the literature they reviewed. Joint Commission (1989b:4-5): "Performance measures provide data and information that serve as the basis for determining whether expectations are met." A clinical indicator is a "generic term. . .intended to emphasize

Clinical Practice Guidelines: Directions for a New Program Get This Book
Buy Paperback | $50.00
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF
  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook,'s online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!