The George Washington University Geiger Gibson /RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative, in partnership with the Michigan Primary Care Association, released a report on a pilot effort in Michigan to advance health care quality improvement through data sharing and exchange. The Michigan Primary Care Association hosts a data warehouse that includes data on care delivery processes and health outcomes collected from over 100 health centers in 24 states for patients with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma and depression.

Findings suggest significant potential exists if the data can be used to create performance measures that are tailored to each center’s needs, operating environment, and population served, and if the comparative and inter-facility reporting is made available. However, researchers caution performance data alone is insufficient for meaningful quality improvement; performance analysis and consideration of state policy influences are essential.

The authors call for a deliberate and coordinated effort with a shared vision to build a national health center quality of care data warehouse that can lead to practice transformation—a multi-center, multi-state project which aims to build a national quality of care data repository (NQDR) that integrates all health centers regardless of the applications, records systems or registries used.