According to the Institute of Medicine IOM’s 2001 report envisioning the National Healthcare Quality Report, three major criteria were proposed for measure selection:
- Importance of what is being measured (Applicability)
- Impact on health. What is the impact on health associated with this problem?
- Meaningfulness. Are policy makers and consumers concerned about this area?
- Susceptibility to being influenced by the health care system. Can the health care system meaningfully address this aspect or problem?
- Scientific soundness of the measure (Validity)
- Validity. Does the measure actually measure what it is intended to measure?
- Reliability. Does the measure provide stable results across various populations and circumstances?
- Explicitness of the evidence base. Is there scientific evidence available to support the measure?
- Feasibility of using the measure
- Existence of prototypes. Is the measure in use?
- Availability of required data across the system. Can information needed for the measure be collected in the scale and time frame required?
- Cost or burden of measurement. How much will it cost to collect the data needed for the measure?
- Capacity of data and measure to support subgroup analyses. Can the measure be used to compare different groups of the population?
The 2001 IOM committee indicated that the three criteria, as listed above, provide a hierarchy by which measures should be considered.
Therefore according to this article Applicability would have priority to be given to measures evaluated for importance and scientific soundness and then by feasibility.
For example, the committee stated:
Measures that address important areas and are scientifically sound, but are not feasible in the immediate future, deserve potential inclusion in the data set and further consideration. However, measures that are scientifically sound and feasible, but do not address an important problem area, would not qualify for the report regardless of the degree of feasibility or scientific soundness.
What factors must be assessed when critically appraising quantitative studies (e.g., validity, reliability, and applicability)? Which is the most important? Why?