4083.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - 8:42 AM

Abstract #13532

Quality of Care Metrology: New Possibilities for Generalized Quantification

William P. Fisher, PhD and George Karabatsos, PhD. Biometry & Genetics, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 1901 Perdido Street, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504 568-8083, wfishe@lsumc.edu

Universal metrics for length, temperature, volts, etc. are taken for granted. We commonly, though mistakenly, believe that these units somehow exist in nature, and not as a result of the work of metrologists who come together to create and maintain them. Universal metrics are both agents and products of agreement in that individual experiments must converge on a common variable, and those interested in having a common currency for the exchange of that variable's quantitative value must together decide on data quality and quantity conventions. Fundamental measurement models have introduced metrology's intralaboratory ruggedness testing to quality of care measurement, and the MEPS and CAHPS experiments suggest that a common metric is feasible. The advantages of advancing toward a quality of care metrology include a linear, additive, and qualitatively meaningful measuring unit, and the capacity to take missing data into account. Accounting for missing data is of special importance because it 1) allows respondents to skip items; 2) allows instruments to be modified without making new data incommensurable with old; 3) allows different instruments shown to measure the same variable to do so in the same quantitative unit; 4) allows different populations' special expressions of the variable to be equated, given a modicum of common structure; and 5) makes it possible, via computerized administration, to adapt measurement technology to respondents' needs, instead of forcing respondents to adapt to the needs of the measurement system. A research program for quality of care metrology is offered.

Learning Objectives: At the close of this presentation, the participant learner will be able to: 1. list at least three advantages of fundamental measurement for data quality assessment; 2. describe instrument ruggedness testing and its place in metrology; and 3. define metrology in terms of the calibration of quantitative metrics that do not vary across instrument brands or samples

Keywords: Performance Measures, Accountability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA