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Health Outcomes

What are health outcomes?

Health outcomes are the health consequences that result from the planned treatment, intervention, or series of interventions within the healthcare system. Health outcomes may be calculated for an individual, group, or population.

Some health outcomes that may be measured include:

  • mortality
  • safety of care
  • readmissions
  • patient experience
  • effectiveness of care
  • efficient use of medical imaging
  • timeliness of care

These measures are the targets that healthcare organizations try to improve.

Health outcomes are often defined and prioritized by specific organizations, such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ), and the Joint Commission. Healthcare systems then target their outcome measurements based on federal and state mandates, financial incentives, and accreditation requirements.

Why is it important to measure health outcomes?

Measuring health outcomes helps improve population health and the patient care experience while also reducing the per capita cost of healthcare and clinician burnout. Additionally, it helps healthcare organizations see if the changes they are making result in any improvements and compare the effectiveness of different treatments to determine which interventions work best for specific populations.