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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2007 Jun;32(4):331-40. Epub 2006 Dec 8.

Outcomes, performance, and quality: what's the difference?

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Treatment Research Institute, Public Ledger Bldg, 150 Independence Mall, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA.


Calls for greater accountability within the addiction treatment field have led to a wide range of efforts designed to improve treatment performance, quality, and outcomes. However, efforts with conceptually and methodologically different approaches have used the same umbrella terms such as "quality," "performance indicators," and "outcome domains," causing substantial confusion among providers and policymakers. This article provides operational definitions of the terms used in discussing quality, performance, and outcomes, as well as a discussion of ways to integrate efforts to measure treatment system performance and quality during treatment with patient outcomes during and following treatment. This article thus helps build a common understanding about how these efforts to bring greater accountability can be combined and integrated to improve the attractiveness and effectiveness of addiction treatments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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