Creating effective outcomes management programs is a vital part of delivering quality care. By developing a continuous feedback loop and making adjustments accordingly, you can support better outcomes and help clients progress towards their individual goals and objectives more efficiently.
In general, there are four key components of outcomes management programs:
- Planning and settings goals and objectives
- Data collection
- Reporting, data analysis and interpretation
- Improvement initiatives to optimize care delivery
Planning and Setting Goals and Objectives
To ensure that your team is operationally aligned, it’s important to invest time up front to map out your overall strategic goals for your outcomes management programs. Before you begin the process of creating or updating your strategic plan, your team should be able to answer the following questions:
- What are your clinical, financial and administrative goals related to improving outcomes and why?
- What outcomes will you measure?
- Should specific outcomes be prioritized and why?
- How will you measure those outcomes and how frequently?
- What are the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved?
After you’ve identified and documented your goals as an organization, it’s important to start collecting the information you need to make data-driven decisions. To help your organization identify the metrics that can help you monitor progress over time, your measurement plan should document your desired outcomes, key indicators, data collection tools and your specific goals for each indicator.
(Below includes a sample measurement plan for reference.)
Reporting, Data Analysis and Interpretation
To help your organization monitor and manage progress towards your goals, it’s important to update and publish regular reports that document your key performance indicators. To simplify the process of creating this documentation, it’s important to select an electronic health record (EHR) platform that gives you the flexibility collect the information you need and also publish recurring reports.
Below includes some reporting best practices to keep in mind:
- Percentages are most meaningful when measuring aggregate outcomes – always include your denominator
- Charts, graphs and tables best for reporting outcomes data – the more visual, the better!
- Provide short summaries of your data that interpret the results for your stakeholders
- Utilize frequent reporting to engage stakeholders in the process and to monitor the measurement process in place
- Transparency is key! Share your information with both leadership and front-line staff to encourage collaboration, support and engagement
- You can also leverage statistical software such as SPSS or STATA for more advanced analysis of your data
Improvement Initiatives to Optimize Care Delivery
After you have started to monitor key metrics for a period of time and have established a baseline of results, the last step in the process involves the creation of improvement initiatives designed to support your organizational goals for improving outcomes. This can include changing various aspects of care delivery including assessment instruments, medications, therapies and clinical protocols.
To create an effective action plan that can help your team support your goals, it’s important to involve team members within a variety of functional areas of your organization including clinicians, administrative professionals and executive leadership. By reviewing and discussing the data as a team, you can work together to brainstorm new and more effective treatment programs that can support better client outcomes.
In general, your outcomes management programs should be considered living, breathing documents that are regularly updated based on new insights, outcomes scores and client feedback.
By continuing to invest time and resources in creating and managing an effective outcomes management program, your care organization can deliver the quality and compassionate care your clients deserve.
If you’d like to learn more, click here to download the Implementing an Impactful Outcomes Process workbook.