Outcome Measurement Tools
Outcomes are an objective way to measure the achievement of an organization or intervention. Essentially outcomes are what a business is looking to accomplish either internally or with the help of business partners—suppliers. To define desired outcomes, businesses must assess what their goals are.
To understand the progress your business is making toward outcomes, you must leverage outcome measurement tools. The outcome measures definition is simple. It’s the set of metrics and tools you use to determine progress toward outcome achievement.
Why are outcome measures important?
In the relationship between suppliers and buyers, outcomes are the promise. Using outcomes, both parties can agree on desired results and clear expectations. Essentially, outcomes provide shared accountability. To evaluate the progress toward the promises, you must perform outcomes measures research.
Types Of Outcome Measures
There are several types of outcome measures. For example, in healthcare, outcome measures are used to determine whether a clinical trial is working as intended on the patients involved. It’s important to understand the different outcome measures in qualitative research.
The first type is primary outcome measures. Primary outcome measures are the most important ones. Typically, clinical studies have a single primary outcome measure, but they can have more than one. The primary outcome measure defines the main purpose of the study. For example, in a study about how caffeine impacts sleep, the length of sleep may be the primary outcome measure.
Secondary outcome measures are not quite as important as the primary outcome measure. However, for research, the secondary outcomes must also be pre-specified. Much like primary outcomes, the secondary outcome cannot be exploratory. Most studies contain more than one secondary outcome measure. In the example above (a study on caffeine and sleep), daytime tiredness may be a secondary outcome measure.
Examples Of Outcome Measures
Taking a look at some examples of outcome measures makes them much easier to understand. Here are a few functional outcome measures examples:
- Website traffic growth
- Readmission percentages at hospitals
- The number of leads per month
- Overall customer satisfaction ratings
- Annual recurring revenue
- Employee satisfaction ratings
There are outcome measures examples for every industry. When assessing what outcomes your company is looking to achieve,, it’s best to look for performance outcome measures examples that are most relevant to your business and vendor partnership.
Research studies are one of the easiest places to find outcome measure examples. There are many helpful examples of outcome measures in research. For example, imagine a study that aims to assess the efficacy of a happiness pill. For such a study, the primary outcome measure example would be the level of happiness. The researchers would measure the baseline happiness and then measure happiness again after the treatment. In this outcome measure in research example, the researchers may use a self-report questionnaire (asking patients to rate their overall happiness) as the tool. This is just one process measures example, as there are many examples of outcome measures in research.
Outcome Measures In Healthcare
While outcome measures are critical for all industries, they are especially relevant in healthcare. The cost of healthcare continues to rise, so providers must produce tangible results. Outcome measures in healthcare ensure quality practices and the best results for patients.
Medical technology plays a huge role in healthcare quality measurement tools. Digital transformation increases data access and control and enables more advanced measures which is especially important for healthcare organizations participating in value-based agreements. New medical applications gather relevant digital clinical measures of activity crucial for assessing outcomes. Outcome measurement tools in digital health have been extremely helpful for healthcare organizations. The need for healthcare quality measurement tools will only continue to grow.
The increase of digital tools in healthcare has created a competitive advantage that many healthcare companies seek to capitalize on. One way for healthcare organizations to assess their progress toward digital transformation is with the HIMSS digital health indicator. The indicator relies on the HIMSS Digital Health Framework, which tracks four key measures for digital health transformation. The DHI healthcare tool provides a digital health index. The goal of digital healthcare is to leverage the digital measures that matter to patients
Outcome Measures For Mental Health
Outcome measures for mental health are a new focus in the healthcare industry. Essentially mental health measures assess how effective a given intervention is for improving a person’s mental health (based on the set outcomes).
Determining the proper mental health measures can be difficult. To be useful, outcome measures for mental health must be:
- Valid and reliable
- Sensitive to change
- Applicable to several patient groups and treatment environments
One way to acquire mental health outcome measures is through patient feedback—mental health patient-reported outcome measures. For example, if a desired outcome is better sleep, one way to measure sleep quality would be to ask the patients to self-report how much sleep they are getting.
In order to get more accurate results, some healthcare facilities may use mental health functional assessment tools to measure mental health outcomes. There are both client and provider-generated outcome measurement tools for mental health assessment.
In order to make an outcome-based approach work, it’s often best to get very detailed. For instance, mental health outcome measures in occupational therapy are typically very specific and straightforward. The purpose of occupational therapy is to improve the outcomes of those with mental health problems. It’s an ethical requirement for occupational therapists to use outcome measurement tools for mental health. Doing so can also help to earn service funding, as organizations will pay them based on the results they generate. For example, occupational therapists should measure skill development in patients. Two mental health measures for this are the AMPS and ESI Sensory Integration measures.
Examples Of Outcome Measures In Healthcare
Taking a look at some examples of outcome measures in healthcare is a great way to better understand the concept. Below are a few key examples in different healthcare areas:
Physiotherapy & Physical Therapy Examples
Outcome measures in physiotherapy help to set goals for and motivate patients. Functional outcome measures in physical therapy can also justify certain treatment methods and help guide the progression of treatment.
There are many types of outcome measures in physiotherapy based on the unique patient and conditions being treated. For example, a patient dealing with lung issues or coming back from an injury that impacted their lungs will need respiratory outcome measures physiotherapy. Ultimately, the outcome measures in physiotherapy depend on the reason for treatment, but they should be defined early on.
Some outcome measures in physiotherapy include:
- The Six-Minute Walk Test (6MWT). This test measures how far the patient walks in six minutes. It assesses endurance and overall fitness and can be done at certain intervals to measure the progress of physical therapy.
- The Functional Reach Test. This test assesses functional balance, which is a useful following injury that limited mobility. For this test, the patient stands perpendicular to a wall, with their shoulder about six inches from it. They then elevate their arms parallel to the floor. Then, they ball their fists and reach as far forward as possible without moving their feet. Measure how far the patient reached forward.
- Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire. There are many types of outcome measures in physiotherapy, including self-report ones. One example is the Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire, where the patient must answer questions about their level of pain and current abilities. This assessment may be used to measure the recovery progress of a low back injury.
The goal of rehabilitation is to help patients return to their baseline level of functioning in daily life. Rehabilitation outcome measures are used to track progress for a patient, and they are important to the patients, families, insurance companies, and medical professionals. Some examples of outcomes in the rehab measures database include:
- Functional Independence Measure (FIM) examines the global functionality of a patient. This assessment includes 5 cognitive tasks and 13 motor tasks. FIM is used to calculate reimbursement from Medicare, and it’s also used to assess caregiver impact. This is one of the most common rehab measures.
- The Pain Catastrophizing Scale measures pain in relation to its emotional impact.
- The Timed Up and Go test is used to assess lower extremity functioning, balance, and fall risk. For this test, the patient must rise from a standard chair and walk to a spot marked 3 meters away. Then must then turn around, walk back, and sit down. The test assesses how long the patient took to complete the task.
Disease-specific outcomes are based on the unique concerns of particular diagnostic groups. Here are a few examples of well-known measures:
- Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index: WOMAC is an outcome measurement for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. This questionnaire assesses three dimensions o health, stiffness, pain, and physical function.
- Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive: This is a widely used assessment for examining episodic memory and cognitive domains in patients with Alzheimer’s.
- The ADDQoL Questionnaire: This is an outcome measure for patients with type I or type II diabetes. It includes 18 items scored on a 7 point scale to assess the patient’s quality of life.
Mental Health Examples
Outcome measurements are just as important in mental health as they are in physical health. We’ve already mentioned a few examples of outcome measures in mental health. Here are some more specific examples of mental health outcome measures:
- The Health of the Nation Outcome Scale: HoNOS includes 12 simple scales that assess impairment, symptoms, behavior, and social functioning. This scale helps determine the efficacy of mental health treatment and is one of the top outcome measures for integrated behavioral health.
- Healthy Dynamics Inventory: This 50 question, a self-report questionnaire assessing overall mental health functioning over time. It relates to key aspects of mental health disorders defined by the DSM (clinical significance, distress, and disability).
- The Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9): This questionnaire assesses the degree and severity of depression. It’s one of the most well-known outcome measures in psychology.
Outcome measurement tools in nursing evaluate the effectiveness of the nursing practice on patient outcomes. The goal of nursing is to promote health, prevent injury and illness, and alleviate patient suffering.
The Nursing Outcomes Classification (NOC) contains 540 patient outcomes that nurses use to evaluate the quality and efficacy of their care. The NOC includes outcomes in seven domains including
- Functional health
- Physiologic Health
- Psychosocial Health
- Health Knowledge & Behavior
- Perceived Health
- Family Health
- Community Health
One common outcome measurement tool in nursing is a Patient-Reported Outcome Measure, where the patient answers questions pertaining to the domains above.
Outcome Measurement Tool
Outcome measurement tools are critical for businesses in all industries, but they are increasingly important for healthcare organizations and their partners. MetaCX offers a third-party Business Value Network for healthcare providers, suppliers, and networks to collaborate on shared outcome measures. Learn more about the power of the MetaCX outcome measurement tool and how it can help your organization today. Sign up now for your free demo.