How is FOCUS related to health quality?

In order to be considered quality care, the experiences or changes described in the Framework for Outcomes in Clinical Communication Services (FOCUS) must result from the provision of health services and fit one or both of the following two criteria:

        • The processes, patient experiences or patient changes are highly valued by the patients/families/caregivers.
        • The processes, experiences, or changes must improve patient health or contribute to one of the six quality health care domains described by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) as follows:

Safe: Avoiding harm to patients from the care that is intended to help them.
Effective: Providing services based on scientific evidence to all who could benefit and refraining from providing services to those not likely to benefit (avoiding underuse and misuse, respectively).
Patient-centered: Providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.
Timely: Reducing waits and sometimes harmful delays for both those who receive and those who give care.
Efficient: Avoiding waste, including waste of equipment, supplies, ideas, and energy.
Equitable: Providing care that does not vary in quality because of personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, geographic location, and socioeconomic status.

How do we measure health quality in the U.S.?
The figure on this page describes the process of developing quality measures  [source: HSI Quality Measurement_Brief]. FOCUS is intended to help with the first few steps in the process, but is less helpful for the latter steps in the process.

For more information:

To open up a table with examples of how FOCUS relates to health quality please click here.

The HSI brief is an excellent and easy to use resource covering general information about: 1)  types of quality measures, 2) how they are developed, 3) where the data on quality come from, and 4) how quality measures are used.

The National Quality Measures Clearinghouse (NQMC) contains healthcare performance measures that calculate whether and how often the healthcare system does what it should to provide quality care (  As of May 2016 there were no NQMC measures specific to the provision of genetic services.