AMDA Pain Measures Accepted for NQMC Publication

June 19, 2014
Perry Gwen Meyers,

Columbia, MD – AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine recently submitted 22 Pain Management Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) Implementation Measures to the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse (NQMC) database. Quality measures are published on the NQMC website only if they are evidence-based and meet NQMC inclusion criteria. AMDA has now received notification that all 22 measures have been accepted for publication in the NQMC database.

NQMC, an initiative of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), is a database and website for information on specific evidence-based health care quality measures and measure sets. NQMC is sponsored by AHRQ to promote widespread access to quality measures by the health care community and other interested individuals. AMDA’s measures are used to assess a facility or individual on the implementation of the AMDA Pain Management in the Long-Term Care Setting CPG, but can also be used to measure how a facility or individual is managing pain in this setting. AMDA hopes that the publication of these measures will benefit post-acute and long-term care practitioners and others with an interest in advancing quality health outcomes.

AMDA feels that publishing these pain measures is important because while adequate pain assessment, including documentation of pain, is the right of all patients, pain assessment in the elderly is often complicated by several factors. These factors include the under-recognition and under-treatment of pain, which are rooted in the nature of and societal attitudes towards pain; the misconception that pain is a natural or expected consequence of aging; and reluctance to report pain for a variety of reasons, including acknowledgment of pain as weakness in character, fear that pain is a symptom of serious disease, and the belief that pain means death is near, among other reasons. 

“This is one of AMDA's first steps in defining quality in the post-acute and long-term care setting,” stated AMDA Past President and current Quality Committee Chair Matthew Wayne, MD, CMD. “Our Quality Committee will now look to translate these implementation measures, where applicable, into physician quality measures.”