Outcome measures are essential in any practical initiative in healthcare, as they contribute to the evaluation of the intervention’s success. By setting specific goals that are related to patient outcomes and analyzing the changes in related statistics, the practitioner can determine whether the new approach has succeeded in its task. However, it can be challenging to set an accurate set of outcome measures because of the diversity of patients, interventions, and outcomes. Selecting them appropriately is a competency that is required of a nursing practitioner, especially a Doctor of Nursing Practice. This paper will provide an example of the application of outcome measures in a practice-level study and propose some appropriate indicators for the author’s DPI project.
The practice-level study discussed in this paper concerns preterm infants and their short-term neonatal outcomes. The authors, Peleg et al. (2019) highlight an improvement in admission temperature, reduction in the rates of late-onset sepsis and bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and a reduced need for blood transfusion and ventilation after their proposed intervention. They achieve these results through a comprehensive mechanism that focuses on the first hour of the patient’s life. If further research confirms these results, the protocol may be adopted in working environments and used for treating preterm infants, in general. The quality of the care that they receive would improve as a result, and the health of the patient population would improve.
The author’s project deals with the prevention of falls in senior patients who live in their homes, either with a caregiver or alone. These people likely live in a diverse array of circumstances and have a wide variety of health concerns that may impair their mobility and make falls more likely. Moreover, as McCone (2016) notes, various outcome measures can correlate with different performance aspects or be confounded by additional complications. As such, it is critical to provide specific measures that isolate the desired result from irrelevant factors and provide an accurate overview of the results. In this project, these measures will be the rate of fall-related emergency department visits in the target population and the self-reported health of the patients.
Severe falls that make medical assistance necessary are the most prominent source of concern in the matter because they can harm the person significantly. Health care utilization outcomes are a popular and effective set of measures in geriatric medicine research (Stolee, 2016). As such, the number of fall-related emergency department visits is an appropriate measure to evaluate the changes in severe fall tendencies. With that said, not all falls are necessarily severe enough to warrant a visit to a medical facility. However, each fall represents an opportunity for injury, whether severe or otherwise and is likely to cause at least minor harm. As such, self-reported health can serve as a measure of whether the patient struggles with falls and is at risk of a severe incident.
It is critical to choose a set of measures that reflect the intended goal accurately while isolating as many unrelated influences as possible. In the study presented in this paper, the authors reviewed a set of specific conditions that are prevalent in the target population as well as the necessity of selected interventions for their safety. For the author’s study, they have selected fall-related emergency department visits and self-reported health. These measures will help them evaluate the incidence of particularly severe as well as that of falls overall, which correspond to the severity and prevalence of the problem, respectively.
- McCone, B. (2016). Terminology and applications: Hospital performance measures. In H. C. Sax (Ed.), Measurement and analysis in transforming healthcare delivery (Vol. 2) (pp. 7-24). Springer International Publishing.
- Peleg, B., Globus, O., Granot, M., Leibovitch, L., Mazkereth, R., Eisen, I., Morag, I., Stern, O., Rozen, C., Maayan-Metzger, A., & Strauss, T. (2019). “Golden Hour” quality improvement intervention and short-term outcome among preterm infants. Journal of Perinatology, 39(3), 387-392.
- Stolee, P. (2016). Measuring outcomes of multidimensional geriatric assessment programs. In H. M. Fillit, J. B. Young, & K. Rockwood (Eds.), Brocklehurst’s textbook of geriatric medicine and gerontology (8th ed.) (pp. 241-264). Elsevier Health Sciences.