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Clinical outcomes are a way to measure the results of progress within a healthcare system. They are important as they help to monitor reduction in symptoms and ensure that a patient is getting the best possible care. Clinical outcomes are broadly agreed, measurable changes in health or quality of life that result from any healthcare intervention and constant review of clinical outcomes establishes standards against which to continuously improve all aspects of practice.
Clinical outcomes can be measured by activity data such as hospital re-admission rates, or by agreed scales and other forms of measurement. They can be recorded by administrators or by clinical staff such as doctors, nurses, psychologists or allied health professionals (e.g. physiotherapists, dietitians).
Measures of treatment outcomes from the patient’s perspective are called patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) – these are an important part of outcomes measurement because they provide a patient-led assessment of health, and health-related quality of life. PROMs are used to assess the quality of care delivered to patients from the patient perspective. They are often simple questionnaires that are completed by patients at key points during the patient journey; from the first outpatient appointment until they are discharged by the clinical team and beyond. The differences in the answers allow a calculation to be made of the health gain a patient has achieved as a result of their treatment.
A Clinical Outcome Assessment is any assessment that may be influenced by human choices, judgment, or motivation and may support either direct or indirect evidence of treatment benefit. COAs depend on the implementation, interpretation, and reporting from a patient, a clinician, or an observer.
Health and Social Care Information Centre
NHS Choices – PROMS
The Health Foundation
Oxford PROM group
National Joint Registry – PROMS
Value in Health ( this has open access to some archived issues)
Journal of evaluation in clinical practice ( you will need to request articles from this)
Health Services & Outcomes research methodology
The Patient – Patient-Centered Outcomes Research