Thomson Healthcare has launched Physician Performance Assessment, an application that health plans, regional health collaboratives and other organizations use to evaluate the quality and cost of medical care. Physician Performance Assessment evaluates whether medical care follows established clinical guidelines while it accounts for the severity and duration of the medical condition being treated. It generates reports that inform physicians and physician networks about gaps in patient care so they know which areas need improvement and they can increase their focus on those particular facets of the process.

Specifically, the tool accounts for the severity of a patient's condition, thus leveling the playing field for doctors with sicker patients so the receive fair comparisons to their peers. It also evaluates physician performance from a clinical point of view, while assessing the use of healthcare resources (focusing on quality of care, not just cost). Physician Performance Assessment also uses measures of physician performance developed by the National Quality Forum, The National Committee for Quality Assurance and the AQA (formerly the Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance).

This product seems to emphasize Thomson Healthcare's commitment to providing products and services that ensure the quality of healthcare services. This particular tool is interesting in that it is designed to make sure all parties in the healthcare process, from insureds, employers and physicians, are on the same page regarding medical care; and that they are focusing on the quality of services offered, not just cost part of the equation.

Because the application can measure these different variables, it should garner much interest in the healthcare community. A tool that addresses such a wide range of concerns has the potential to be well-received in this marketplace. It could lead to some very positive changes in the healthcare industry.