Measuring outcomes in the healthcare industry are critical to guarantee that patients receive high-quality care that contributes to the improvement of their health. The process of outcomes measurement can be realized concerning such areas as education, clinical practice, business, and policy. The purpose of this paper is to examine approaches to measuring outcomes about clinical practice, education, business, and policy and describe quality indicators associated with the sphere of interventional radiology.
The measurement of outcomes in education in the context of healthcare environments is a challenging process. The key focus is on measuring actual changes in individuals’ knowledge, the level of skills development, the application of theoretical principles, and performance. It is important to assess how the learned theoretical material and practical guidelines can influence the performance of a healthcare provider and change outcomes for patients. Traditional approaches to outcomes measurement in the sphere of education, including education in the healthcare industry and patient education, involve the use of tests, rubrics, and questionnaires (Fain, 2016). They are important to determine in which areas knowledge of patients regarding their conditions and skills is improved as a result of receiving information.
In clinical practice, outcomes measurement is based on the application of measures or assessment tools that demonstrate practical changes in patients’ states about this or that disease. Standard measures to review patients’ progress were developed and proposed by the National Guideline Clearinghouse and National Quality Measures Clearinghouse in association with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Depending on the type of a condition, these assessment tools help to measure what changes are observed in readmissions rates, stroke rates, or the use of antibiotics, for example (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, n.d.; National Quality Forum, 2018). These assessments usually involve both healthcare providers and patients, and they reflect changes in outcomes for patients. These measures are developed for typical cases, conditions, and situations observed in healthcare facilities that can directly influence the quality of patients’ care. The Physician Quality Reporting System was previously used in addition to the general measurement of outcomes, but the system has recently been changed to ensure that all patients receive high-quality and on-time care (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2018).
Organizations and Businesses
Measuring outcomes in the area of business are associated with comparing the achieved results with the set objectives and expected effects. At the first stage, certain goals for the development of organizational operations are set along with indicators of progress and expected outcomes. At the stage of assessment of outcomes, the information regarding positive or negative changes in wait times, productivity, the organization of the delivery of care, and the reduction of waste among other aspects are collected and evaluated with the help of checklists (Ithia, 2015). Thus, checklists developed for different areas of organizational or business operations are typically used to measure achieved outcomes about the set goals and objectives.
After adopting a certain policy in the sphere of health care, it is important to evaluate its outcomes. Much attention should be paid to using different assessment tools for measuring short-term and long-term outcomes in this context. Short-term outcomes of the policy implementation include immediate changes in processes and operations that are reported by patients and healthcare providers concerning their immediate perceptions of observed changes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.). Long-term outcomes are associated with direct impacts on the processes that were aimed to be changed with the help of the policy, and they are assessed by using not only questionnaires but also checklists and key performance indicators.
In the field of interventional radiology, quality indicators are associated with the success of completing diagnostic arteriography, the effectiveness of IVC filter placement, and the success of percutaneous transcatheter embolization. Therefore, the first quality indicator can be formulated the following way: At least in 95% of cases requiring diagnostic arteriography for pulmonary, bronchial, aortic, abdominal, and spinal problems, the procedure is performed successfully (Rivera & Uruchurtu, 2017; Wojak et al., 2015). The second important quality indicator is associated with placing IVC filters to avoid complications. The indicator can be formulated the following way: At least 97% of patients requiring the IVC filter placement are successfully diagnosed and treated with the help of this procedure necessary for accessing thrombosis and addressing embolization among other conditions (Tsetis et al., 2016; Zhang, Domröse, & Mahnken, 2015).
One more quality indicator is associated with conducting percutaneous transcatheter embolization. Thus, at least 85% of clinical cases of conducting the procedure are successful in terms of focusing on the embolization of pulmonary, bronchial, pancreatic, and renal arteries (Chong, Taylor, Schubert, & Vassar, 2017; Dariushnia et al., 2014). These indicators are used to determine whether interventional radiology procedures are effectively completed to contribute to positive patient outcomes.
In this paper, methods of measuring outcomes for patients have been described in detail. Also, much attention has been paid to examining the procedure concerning four different areas. Moreover, specific quality indicators related to the field of interventional radiology have also been discussed. As a result, the determined and described quality indicators are associated with such procedures as diagnostic arteriography, the IVC filter placement, and the percutaneous transcatheter embolization.
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