With clinical outcomes improving across the board, it’s imperative for all hospitals to keep a close watch on this metric.
How does your hospital stack up to the competition? Has the facility experienced an increase in clinical outcomes over the past 12 to 24 months?
In short, a clinical outcome, also known as a patient-reported outcome, is nothing more than an outcome as reported by the patient who received treatment.
A Measuring System is Critical
Without a measuring system in place, it’s impossible to understand if clinical outcomes in your hospital are improving. While you can make an educated guess, this isn’t the best approach to such an important subject.
Fortunately, there are many ways to not only measure outcomes but to make the necessary changes to ensure future improvement.
Clinical quality measures, also known as CQMs, are tools meant to measure and track the quality of health care provided by hospitals and medical professionals.
Thanks to these measuring tools, hospitals can measure many factors associated with patient care, including but not limited to:
- Patient safety
- Clinical processes
- Patient engagement
- Coordination of care
- Adherence to clinical guidelines
Through the measurement of clinical outcomes, hospitals can ensure the following:
- That they are providing the highest possible level of care.
- That they are delivering effective and efficient treatment.
- That they are providing a patient-centric experience.
- That they are providing patient care in a timely manner.
Use a Patient Reported Outcome Questionnaire
One of the best ways to assess and improve clinical outcomes is through the use of a patient reported outcome questionnaire. This allows the hospital to collect the information and data necessary to determine if they’re on the right path.
The best type of questionnaire assesses a single characteristic, as this helps collect the most accurate and targeted information. A questionnaire can assess many things, such as:
- General health perceptions
- Health status
- Quality of life
- Overall rating of health care
Note: depending on your situation and goals, a questionnaire can be condition targeted or generic. With a condition targeted questionnaire, you’re seeking information from patients who received a particular type of care for a particular medical ailment.
Measuring Quality Based on the Patient Experience
From the inside, hospitals and medical providers can assume that they are reaching all their clinical outcome goals.
However, it’s essential to measure quality as it relates to whether or not the patients’ needs and expectations are met. In addition to the measuring tools detailed above, consider the following:
- Current systems that impact patient care and access.
- Coordination of care with other health care providers.
- Providing evidence based care.
As hospitals continue to focus more time, effort, and resources on the improvement of clinical outcomes, patients will benefit in the end. Better outcomes lead to happier patients and more success for your hospital. If your hospital does not have a system in place for measuring and improving clinical outcomes, now’s the time for a change.