The healthcare system of today has gone through a lot of ups and downs. In fact, it is still in a very volatile state and administrative and regulatory complexities are still a very big part of this system. This makes it difficult for any healthcare system to achieve its potential and have the kind of outcome that it is aiming for. Reducing these complexities and improving process is very challenging and healthcare organizations have a hard time measuring them and reporting them. One of the ways that healthcare systems can manage these complexities and make sure that they reduce them is to take a good, long look at their outcome measures. They need to understand what these measures really are and understand the subtleties that are associated with them.
The organization’s administrative staff has a major role to play in achieving these outcomes as well as measuring them, understanding their nuances and integrating them with real-world practices for a successful outcome. For this purpose, organizations need to hire highly qualified staff or upgrade their existing staff’s skills so that they can increase their potential, whether it means opting for a BSN to MSN online or going for a doctorate.
Why Measuring Healthcare Outcomes Is Important
If you want to achieve a gold standard in healthcare then you need to measure, report, and compare all the healthcare outcomes that directly affect your organization, institute, practices, and most importantly, your patients. These measures include:
- Enhancing the patient’s experience in your healthcare system
- Helping the overall population in increasing their health
- Lowering the cost of healthcare, and
- Taking care of your staff and reducing the rate of burnout
Integrating these outcome measurements with your system is imperative as they are a vital part of understanding, testing, and finally implementing the changes that you want to see in your system. They tell you and your team whether you are on the right track or not and whether the changes that you are implementing are actually having a good effect or not.
These measurable outcomes are being implemented by healthcare organizations so that, they can;
- Reveal the areas that require improvement
- Find out if there are any variations in the care of patients
- Provide the framework that can help us better understand the patients and identify the practices that work best with certain types of patients in various situations
- Help compare various treatment practices and procedures to find out their overall effectiveness and whether we should continue with them or not
The Top Healthcare Outcome Measures
As we discussed before, there are literally hundreds of healthcare outcome measures that you or your organization can implement like; changes in a patient’s blood pressure and more. Here we are going to introduce you to the top healthcare outcome measures that are used to calculate the quality that a hospital or any other institute is providing:
This is by far the most important healthcare outcome measure. You can implement an evidence-based, standardized outcome measure that can calculate the mortality rate of patients and the different variations in it according to the changes that you are implementing.
#2: Safety of Care
This is to measure the medical mistakes that often happen in hospitals as well as other healthcare institutes and measure the safety of care. The most common factors that are used in the safety of care outcome measures are hospital-acquired infections and skin breakdowns.
Skin breakdown is when the blood flow to your skin decreases. This is due to the pressure. Patients who are suffering from this symptom are generally at a higher risk of getting an infection. Matters could become more complex if the patients are already suffering from other diseases that restrict the flow of blood like diabetes. You can easily use a skin assessment tool and make sure that you improve the patient’s condition.
For hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), healthcare institutes can use evidence-based bundles to make sure that they decrease the chances of it happening. HAIs are usually caused by viral, bacterial or fungal pathogens. You can use the latest technology to identify the patients who are susceptible to HAIs and monitor their health as well as providing them with the best practices to decrease HAIs.
One of the most common outcome measures that healthcare institutes can use is the readmission that comes after hospitalization. Readmission is very expensive and generally, it can be avoided. According to research, around $25 to $45 billion is wasted on readmissions and other unnecessary and preventable complications. Your organization or institute can implement various care coordination programs that can help you analyze the applications and add to the accuracy of the data so that you can make informed decisions and monitor the patients better.
#4: Patient Experience
One of the most realistic and holistic ways of measuring outcomes is through the patient experience. You can assess the patient’s level of satisfaction as well as gauge their experience and their perception of healthcare that has been provided to them.
Wrapping It Up
Outcome measurements are not only so that organizations and institutes can report the numbers but they are there to improve the healthcare system and its achievements. Healthcare organizations and institutes should focus on the quality of care that they provide as well as improving the overall experience at an efficient cost.