Volume 39 | Number 3 | June 2004

Abstract List

Thomas M. Vogt, Mikel Aickin, Faruque Ahmed, Mark Schmidt


To improve quality of care assessment for preventive medical services and reduce assessment costs through development of a comprehensive prevention quality assessment methodology based on electronic medical records (EMRs).

Data Sources

Random sample of 775 adult and 201 child members of a large nonprofit managed care system.

Study Design

Problems with current, labor‐intensive quality measures were identified and remedied using EMR capabilities. The Prevention Index (PI) was modeled by assessing five‐year patterns of delivery of 24 prevention services to adult and child health maintenance organization (HMO) members and comparing those services to consensus recommendations and to selected Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS) scores for the HMO.

Data Collection

Comprehensive chart reviews of 976 randomly selected members of a large managed care system were used to model the Prevention Index.

Principal Findings

Current approaches to prevention quality assessment have serious limitations. The PI eliminates these limitations and can summarize care in a single comprehensive index that can be readily updated. The PI prioritizes services based on benefit, using a person‐time approach, and separates preventive from diagnostic and therapeutic services.


Current methods for assessing quality are expensive, cannot be applied at all system levels, and have several methodological limitations. The PI, derived from EMRs, allows comprehensive assessment of prevention quality at every level of the system and at lower cost. Standardization of quality assessment capacities of EMRs will permit accurate cross‐institutional comparisons.