Quality Counts: About the National Quality Initiative (NQI)

View Questionnaire View Sample Report

word-cloud showing the performance measuresWhen young people access essential health services in schools, they’re more likely to be healthy, safe, engaged, and ready to learn. The School-Based Health Alliance is challenging 100% of school-based health centers (SBHCs) to voluntarily adopt and report standardized performance measures that demonstrate SBHCs are providing these critical services.

Initiative Background



Project Updates

Reporting for the 2018-19 School Year: (Summer 2019)

SBHCs can report data for the 2018-19 school year from June-December 2019. In January 2020, participating SBHCs will be able to download reports to see how their performance compares to SBHCs in their state and nationally, and identify areas for quality improvement.

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: Join a 12-Month Learning Collaborative to Improve School Health and Mental Health (Spring 2019)

The School-Based Health Alliance (the Alliance) and the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) invite states—in collaboration with five local entities (e.g., school-based health centers, school regions, school districts, hospitals, local public health authorities, federally qualified health centers, etc.)—to apply to participate in a 12-month Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN). This CoIIN will focus on making measurable improvements to students’ health and mental health (including social, emotional, behavioral health, and substance use). Click here to apply. Applications due May 31, 2019.

Progress Toward Adoption Goals for the 2016-17 School Year: (Winter 2018)

A total of 575 SBHCs from 34 states reported one or more of the measures for the 2016-17 school year.  These SBHCs can download their reports to see how their performance compares to other SBHCs in their state and across the nation.

Reporting for the 2017-18 School Year: (Summer 2018)

SBHCs can report data for the 2017-18 school year from June 2018-December 2018. In January, participating SBHCs will be able to download reports to see how their performance compares to SBHCs in their state and nationally, and identify areas for quality improvement.

Progress toward Adoption Goals for the 2016-17 school year (Winter 2018)

A total of 575 SBHCs from 34 states reported one or more of the measures for the 2016-17 school year.  These SBHCs can download their reports to see how their performance compares to other SBHCs in their state and across the nation.

It’s Time to Report Your Measures for the 2016-17 School Year: Data Portal Now Open (Summer 2017)

As part of the Alliance’s Performance Measures: Quality Counts Initiative, all school-based health care (SBHC) programs are invited to report the core performance measures for SBHC for the 2016-17 school year. To make reporting the measures as efficient as possible, we have added them as a component of the 2016-17 National School-Based Health Care Census portal.

Participants can download a report in late fall 2017 that shows your SBHC data and how it compares to others in your state and across the country. Click here to view a sample National Quality Initiative Report. These reports can support you in identifying priority areas and delivering the highest quality of care.

Read more about reporting the performance measures.

Please follow these steps to report your SBHC program(s) data:

1. If you already completed the 2016-17 Census, you can add your data for the performance measures by following these steps:

  • Login to our website at www.sbh4all.org.
  • Click on “Census Portal” and resume your previous Census session.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the main dashboard to the “National Quality Initiative – Quality Counts” section.
  • Enter performance measure data for your SBHC program(s).

2. If you have not completed the 2016-17 Census, you can complete the Census and report the performance measures at the same time! Please follow these steps:

3. If you already completed the Census and reported the performance measures, THANK YOU! You can review the performance measure definitions at any time by clicking here.

Thank you for being pioneers in this work!

Get Ready! SBHC Offered Opportunity to Practice Reporting Performance Measures (Winter 2017)

From mid-January to mid-February 2017, the School-Based Health Alliance will offer school-based health care (SBHC) centers the opportunity to practice reporting the five performance measures for SBHC through its Quality Counts data portal.

Read more.

To learn more, please join the webinar “Quality Counts: Practice Reporting the Five Performance Measures for SBHC,” scheduled for 2:00pm Eastern on January 12, 2017. Presenters from the School-Based Health Alliance will discuss the importance of Quality Counts and what the initiative makes possible for the field as well as the nuts and bolts of entering data into the Alliance’s Quality Counts data portal.

Alliance to Host Webinar Series to Help Prepare SBHC Centers for Reporting the Performance Measures (Fall 2016)

The School-Based Health Alliance will host a series of webinars starting in September 2016 to help school-based health care (SBHC) programs adopt and report the performance measures. During these webinars, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and share successes and challenges with one another. This sharing it essential to helping us improve.

Read more about the webinar series.

Join us for a series of webinars in the fall of 2016 to learn about:

  • The five performance measures for SBHC and promising strategies to improve the care being delivered.
  • Tips on how to set up your electronic health record (EHR) to collect data and how to report data to the School-Based Health Alliance.
  • Understand what data is being collected and when as well as how data will be used and how privacy will be protected.

SBHC Call to Action: Join the Quality Counts Movement! (Summer 2016)

We are challenging the school-based health care (SBHC) field to join the “Performance Measures: Quality Counts” movement and voluntarily adopt and report the five performance measures for SBHC.

Learn more about the Quality Counts movement.

Collecting standardized data from SBHC programs nationwide will help to describe the quality of care being delivered in SBHC at the national level and demonstrate our collective impact to advocate for increased support of the model.

For this initiative to be successful, we need your participation. All SBHC programs are encouraged to begin planning for performance measure reporting. As a first step, we created “Quality Counts,” an online guide providing background information and resources to help set your plans in motion. Access it to:

  • review of the five core performance measures for SBHC;
  • learn about promising strategies to improve the care being delivered;
  • view tips on how to set up your EHR to collect data and how to report data to the Alliance;
  • understand what data is being collected and when;
  • how data will be used and how privacy will be protected; and
  • register for upcoming Quality Counts webinars or view archived webinars.

Use the “Quality Counts” menu located at the top right of this page to access the online guide.

Congratulations to the First Cohort of NQI CoIIN Teams! (Fall 2015)

We are excited to announce the eight teams selected to participate in the first cohort of the School Health Services National Quality Initiative (NQI) Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) learning collaborative!

Read more about the first cohort.

These teams will learn from each other and experts in the field to collectively make improvements in two focus areas:

  • Standardized Performance Measures: Building the capacity to document and report the first-ever standardized set of national performance measures for SBHC
  • Sustainable Business Practices: Improving how SBHC centers position themselves in today’s health care marketplace by implementing business-savvy practices

The eight participating teams represent two School-Based Health Alliance state affiliate organizations, four state or county departments of health and public health, 22 sponsoring organizations, and more than 60 participating school-based health care (SBHC) centers in eight different states. We are thrilled to be engaging such a diverse network of highly motivated individuals from across the country committed to achieving excellence in school health care.

Members of the Standardize Performance Measures Team include:

  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
    Team Champion: Kristina Green
  • Public Health – Seattle and King County School-Based Partnership Program
    Team Champion: Sara Rigel
  • Connecticut Department of Public Health and Connecticut Association of School Based Health Centers
    Team Champions: Mark Keenan and Jesse White-Fresé
  • North Carolina School-Based Health Alliance
    Team Champion: Stephanie Daniel

Members of the Sustainable Business Practices Team include:

  • Bassett Healthcare Network, Cooperstown, New York
    Team Champion: Chris Kjolhede
  • Growing Well, Cincinnati, Ohio
    Team Champion: Francie Wolgin
  • YMCA of the East Bay, Richmond, California 
    Team Champion: Tracy Ward
  • Minnesota Department of Health, Child and Adolescent Health Section
    Team Champion: Julie Neitzel Carr

Thank you to all who applied to participate in the NQI CoIIN! Continue to watch for updates from cohort one and be sure to look for the opportunity to apply to participate in cohort two in spring 2016.

SBHC Performance Measures Selected (Spring 2015)

Listed below are the five performance measures for school-based health care (SBHC) programs. By reporting standardized data to the School-Based Health Alliance, SBHC programs will be able to compare themselves at local, state, and national levels and assess their strengths and areas for improvement.

Read more about the performance measures and the selection process.

Performance Measure #1: Annual well child visit.
Performance Measure #2: Annual risk assessment.
Performance Measure #3: Body Mass Index (BMI) screening and nutrition/physical activity counseling.
Performance Measure #4: Depression screening and follow-up.
Performance Measure #5: Chlamydia screening.

An explanation of each performance measure, including its definition, numerator and denominator, source of the definition, and relevant claim/encounter codes is now available. In addition, access this page to learn about promising strategies for centers to improve the care they deliver.

Performance Measure Selection Process
The process of selecting a set of standardized performance measures for SBHC evolved in two phases and engaged members of the SBHC field at every step.

First, Alliance staff conducted interviews with national child quality experts, reviewed current literature, and assessed measures with relevance to the populations served by SBHC within national measurement frameworks, including  and . Alliance staff also completed interviews with representatives from state governments that require funded SBHC centers to report performance measurement data. The types of measures required by state governments were compared with the types of measures included in the aforementioned national child health initiatives and narrowed down to eleven potential measures.

Second, in spring and summer 2015, 90 SBHC stakeholders used the Delphi method, an evidence informed process developed by the RAND Institute and University of California, Los Angeles, to gain consensus on a set of SBHC performance measures. Stakeholders included:

  • School-Based Health Alliance members, board, and staff;
  • NQI project advisory group members and expert faculty;
  • SBHC providers and administrators;
  • State affiliate organizations representatives;
  • State government offices that fund SBHC; and
  • Educators and payers.

During three consecutive rounds of scoring, participants were asked to prioritize the measures based on their importance, sensitivity, feasibility, and usability. Through this process, five measures were selected to document SBHC performance: well-child visits, risk assessments, body mass index assessments, depression screens, and chlamydia screens.

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number: U45MC27804 and title: State Adolescent and Young Adult Health Capacity Building Program for $2.8 million. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) Core Set of Children’s Health Care Quality Measures 
National Committee for Quality Assurance’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set