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Med Care. 2004 Feb;42(2 Suppl):II4-11.

Framing the problem of measuring and improving healthcare quality: has the Quality Health Outcomes Model been useful?

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1
University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle, Washington 98195-7265, USA. pmitch@u.washington.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study was to determine the uses of the Quality Health Outcomes framework and indicator categories in the healthcare literature.

DATA SOURCES:

We studied personal communications and conducted a literature search using computerized databases since 1997, when the recommendations of the Invitational Conference on Measures and Outcomes of Care Delivery were available.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

The Quality Health Outcomes Model has been used explicitly to frame a small number of research summaries and programs. The outcome indicator categories can be found in several "report card" initiatives in the United States and Canada. Use of these outcome categories, thought to be sensitive to nursing care inputs, has grown since 1977, with a rising number of uses linked to system or organizational factors or interventions.

CONCLUSIONS:

This model and others like it are increasingly forming the conceptual framework for studies that evaluate quality and system interventions to improve care. However, the available data continue to require the linking of negative outcomes (adverse events, complications) to structural and process inputs that reflect nursing care. An urgent need remains to incorporate this broader range of outcomes into available databases.

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