PCQN member teams collect a standardized set of data that establishes benchmarks and allows for direct comparisons across teams. These data serve as the basis for QI and provide information about the characteristics of patients seen, the processes of care, and the outcomes that result.
With input from the PCQN founding members, the core dataset was developed with the goals of the dataset and data collection processes being:
- feasible to collect prospectively in the course of usual patient care;
- helpful at the bedside in caring for patients;
- targeted at key processes and outcomes; and
- consistent with national standards.
PCQN member teams collect and enter data in one of the three following ways:
- on a template paper card with data entered later into the secure web-based database;
- directly into the web-based PCQN database in real time by using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone; or
- within the electronic health record (EHR) with data subsequently extracted and uploaded to the PCQN database.
Data are available for analysis as soon as they are entered. Members can generate five types of reports in real time for any period that they want to analyze with comparisons to the entire PCQN. The five data reports include:
- Summary Reports that provide a comprehensive analysis of demographic data, processes, and outcomes;
- Trend Reports that show performance over time;
- Member Comparison Reports that provide site-by-site data for a given measure revealing variation in performance;
- Cross-Tab Reports that analyze the relationship between two variables; and
- Patient Queries that generate a list of patients who meet certain criteria.