As health care reimbursements based on pay-for-performance models become more common, there is an unprecedented demand for ways to measure health care quality and demonstrate value. Performance measures, a type of quality measure, are unique tools in a health care delivery system that allow objective monitoring of adherence to specific goals and tracking of outcomes. We sought to provide information on the development of quality measures in otolaryngology–head and neck surgery, as well as the goals of performance measurement at a national level and for our specialty. The historical development, various types, and approach to creating effective performance measures are discussed. The primary methods of developing performance measures (using clinical practice guidelines, clinical registries, and alternative methods) are also discussed. Performance measures are an important tool that can aid otolaryngologists in achieving effective, efficient, equitable, timely, safe, and patient-centered care as outlined by the Institute of Medicine.