NtC Video Podcasts April 21, 2023

NtC 7: Isn’t It Really Just About the Outcome?

by Barry P Chaiken, MD

Ask any physician, and they will say that a positive outcome is, preferably, the successful treatment of a patient’s illness or the completion of the appropriate therapeutic intervention. A patient’s response will vary depending on personal, social, and cultural values. As scientists, physicians apply scientific, measurable metrics to evaluate outcomes, and physicians use explicit criteria created by experts considering the generally available data sources. Patients mostly use implicit, subjective criteria to measure results. Nevertheless, we need to combine those views to measure outcomes correctly.
Therefore, clinical results alone do not entirely measure outcomes.

While we know we must include the patient’s point of view, how do we achieve that? Administrative outcomes fulfill that role. By collecting data from an organization’s processes and workflows, we can evaluate efficiency and effectiveness. Data on the patient experience supplements organization data. When combined, they offer an essential measure of administrative outcomes.

Combining clinical and administrative outcomes yields a realistic evaluation of patient care. But more than measuring the outcome is required. Every organization must establish a repeatable process that uses outcomes data to identify where to focus its evaluation of services. The process must include those that impact patient care and those that do not. Continuous measurement and review of processes and workflows ensure that good outcomes are maintained and poor outcomes are improved.

I look forward to your thoughts, so please submit your comments in this post. And subscribe to my weekly newsletter, “What’s Your Take?”

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