Quality Measures

To help keep you safe and well, UNM Health System tracks and reports process and outcomes measures. These data help us improve patient care.

What Are Process Measures?

Process measures reveal whether we are using best medical practices. These are two examples of process measures:

  1. The percentage of patients admitted to the hospital who receive treatments to prevent blood clots in their legs or lungs
  2. The percentage of patients who come to the emergency department with heart attack symptoms and receive an EKG for diagnosis within 10 minutes of arrival

What Are Outcome Measures?

Outcome measures report how well you do after receiving care. Examples of outcome measures include:

  • Rate of wound infections after surgery
  • Survival rate for patients who arrive at the hospital with a stroke
  • The percentage of patients who develop a blood infection after receiving a central venous catheter
  • The percent of patients with diabetes who have well controlled blood glucose measurements, indicating they’re getting the right medications and intervention

Process Measures vs. Outcome Measures

An outcome measure can be more important than a process measure. However, outcomes data are much harder to collect or interpret because outcomes vary depending on the problem that brought you to the hospital. A successful outcome for a broken hip might be very different than a successful outcome from a severe stroke.

Outcomes also depend on how sick you are before beginning treatment. For example, a healthy teenager will likely have better outcomes after surgery than an elderly patient with serious medical problems.

These types of factors are why it can be hard to compare hospital outcomes. Academic medical centers (teaching hospitals) like UNM sometimes have lower outcomes ratings because we receive the sickest patients from hospitals throughout the state that primarily treat healthier patients.

Explore UNM's Improvement Initiatives

See how we are improving medical and surgical care for all New Mexicans.