Common with being part of leadership in the medical field is recognizing the importance of outcome measure in healthcare. There is no escaping this principle as they face it every day. The challenge is making sure this does not become a habit. Instead, it is critical to keep outcome measures top of mind. Knowing why this is important while examining the fundamentals of outcome measures, ensures the right ones are in place.
Defining Outcome Measures
Generally, there are varying ways to define healthcare outcome measures. The interests and values of the organization determine how this occurs. For instance, one organization measures the results that patients expect.
Alternately, another organization assesses the performance of delivery organizations and clinical teams. Quality stems from access, process, outcome, structure and patient experience. Still, others may look at the physical, mental and social well-being of the population to measure outcomes.
Key Characteristics of Measuring Healthcare Outcomes
Whether the outcome measure in healthcare looks at the population, patient or physicians and healthcare organizations, there are common key characteristics. Some measures are easy to track. Others are more difficult. All rely on the following:
- Outcome measures used can serve more than one domain
- There is a cause and effect of outcome measures
- Determining outcome measures work the same as a science experiment
Who’s Responsible for Measuring Outcomes in a Healthcare Organization?
As previously stated, leadership has the primary responsibility of ensuring the most positive outcome measures. Forming improvement teams involves designating responsibility and accountability on all levels.
This is the only way a healthcare organization can achieve quality care and make improvements where necessary. Setting outcome measure goals start with the executive leadership team but get executed by frontline personnel.
Everyone involved with patient care must see the value of having a quality improvement culture. Doing so can transform a mediocre organization into an exemplar for the healthcare industry.