Outcomes research must be understood first and reasons for their measures known. The outcomes are conclusive outcomes of detailed processes. In health care, outcomes are the results and changes in the health state of persons due to caring received or lacked. In epidemiological events, health care outcomes such as morbidity and mortality rates are normally linked with the health status of an entire population.
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Health care outcomes do not depend exclusively on patients’ interactions with the health care system as therapeutic or medical interventions, and diagnostic procedures. Health care outcomes also relate to consumers’ and patients’ health status after they leave medical facilities. Health care outcomes can also result from a broader spectrum of elements that ensure a better lifestyle such as exercise, good nutrition habits, education, and substance abuse control.
Health care outcomes must be tangible indicators observed to produce quantitative data. Those outcome indicators are measured over a long time in ways that permit casual inferences about what produced the observed health outcomes. The information gained from repeated measures of health outcome gauges is used to improve health care (Kane and Radosevich 85).
Health care outcomes achievement categories are the diagnosis, system, and discipline-specific outcomes. Diagnosis-specific outcomes are related to patient factors that include age, gender, diagnoses, functional status, psychosocial function, cultural, and ethnic background. System-specific outcomes reflect adverse factors, organizational structures, and effectiveness, geographic setting, human and financial resources, medication errors, infection rates, cost, and productivity.
Discipline-specific outcomes encompass provider factors such as provider type, discipline, technical competence, discipline standards, and interpersonal style. Other classification methods have been used to group health care outcomes depending on areas or domains such as resource, psychosocial, functional status, cost, symptom control, patient satisfaction, knowledge, and physiologic utilization.
The current consensus is to identify three main types of health care outcomes: economic, humanistic, and clinical using methodology such as meta-analysis, cross-sectional studies, randomized control trials, observational cohort studies, controlled prospective studies, systematic reviews, simulations, pre-post designs, economic evaluations, analysis of administrative data, patient questionnaires, and public health studies. The direct and indirect cost of care is analyzed by economic outcomes. There is the inclusion of time missed from work in the economic outcomes.
The shifts to supervised care and consumer contentment have become a result of economic inferences. The treatment effects on the patient’s being and ability to function are taken into account by the humanistic outcome. This evaluation contains the level of apprehension and services provided to the patient for an exact event that creates a precise result. The patient’s point of view of his state is regarded as the latest inclusion to the outcomes word list. Clinical outcomes are consequences of medical interventions. They deal with therapeutic and diagnostic consequences in deciding the efficiency of medical treatments (Kane and Radosevich 88).
“Health care outcomes are the changes, either adverse or favorable, in the real or latent health status of persons or communities that can be credited to prior or concurrent care” (Woodruff and Applebaum 157). Shaughnessy, Schlenker, and Crisler define clinical outcomes as “the trigger for quality assurance programs since they answer the question, did the patient benefit or not benefit from the care provided” (149). Examples of health care outcomes are death rate as a result of diabetes, Average waiting time at Emergency Rooms and Operating margin of cost per discharge.
Starting in the 70s and 80s, increasingly rising costs of care and disturbing concerns about the quality of care forced reasonable and affordable costs to be found. Therefore, health care providers are held accountable for the care worth they provide. Though a national agreement on the goals of health care and clinical outcomes does not exist and goals vary from organization to organization, some commonly established rules include; improve quality of care and safety, establish accountability for health care providers, reduce the cost of care services, improve service, and satisfaction.
The emphasis is to make the health care system better and safer. Health care and clinical outcomes goals to advance the health care services are vital and constitute the blueprint for the health care delivery industry. We link outcomes to quality and safety by using some clear methods in asserting quality and safety outcomes. People only seek health care services because they expect satisfactory results.
Another method is therapeutic validity by determining the efficiency of care services, diagnoses, and prescriptions. Those outcomes can help determine clinical performance and ascertain that conditions of patients are better. Another method for increasing quality of care outcomes is to affect evidence-based practice to enhance the chance for best clinical results and the value of life. The practice of EBP is “generated by patient encounters that create questions on the therapy effects, the utility of diagnostic tests, the prognosis of diseases, or the etiology of disorders” (Woodruff and Applebaum 158).
Goals for health care and clinical outcomes to improve safety in health care are linked to the reduction of medical inaccuracies. Public consciousness of medical fault at hospitals improved, due to the publication of researches on medical fault and the increasing ease of use of hospital quality reports.
Political, organizational, and consumer interest in reducing costs of care services has initiated a revolution in the health care industry by which attaining high-quality services to patients must become the overarching goal of health care delivery. This increase will ensure suppliers, payers, patients, and providers benefit as the health care system increases in economic sustainability.
Outcomes should are used to evaluate the effectiveness of cost containment strategies and ascertain that patients and payers are getting appropriate care for their money. The goals for health care and clinical outcomes to improve service and satisfaction are intended to express consumers’ subjective perceptions of the interaction between a provider and a consumer. They portray what patients feel about care services received and their feelings following clinical interventions.
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They also characterize consumers’ subjective evaluations of how well a service or product functions relative to their personal needs and expectations. Within a health care delivery organization, access to care (as reflected in geographic accessibility and waiting times) falls into this class. Satisfaction represents quality from an external, marketing perspective. It is the primary determinant of whether customers (patients or others) will return to an organization to meet their future needs.
As an example, a six percent customer dissatisfaction rate equals 6,000 patients for a hospital with a volume of 100,000 admitted patients. Also as health care moves to managed care and user contentment has developed into an outcome with economic inferences. A patient, who would not revisit for future care, over the life of the patient, represented an average of about $4,000 in lost hospital revenues. Six thousand patients per year at $4,000 per patient equal $24 million per year in potential revenues lost to a particular health care provider.
Kane, Robert, and David Radosevich. Conducting Health Outcomes Research. 1st ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2010. Print.
Shaughnessy, Peter, Robert Schlenker, and Kathryn Crisler. “Home care: Moving forward with continuous improvement.” Journal of Aging and Social Policy 7.3 (1996): 149-67. Print.
Woodruff, Lisa, and Robert Applebaum. “Assuring the Quality of In-Home Supportive Services: A consumer Perspective.” Journal of Aging Studies 10.2 (1996): 157- 169. Print.