Use of health outcomes as indicators of quality of care
by Ana Díaz-Roncero, July 27, 2022
In the last few years, it has been more and more important to put the patient at the center of the healthcare system, as we have already seen in articles like “What is 5P Medicine and how can Big Data help make it a reality?”. This new focus goes beyond improving the patient’s health, as it seeks to positively impact his or her quality of life and experience during the healthcare process.
In order to achieve this improvement, it is becoming more important to understand to what extent a procedure or therapy is achieving the desired outcomes, and to detect possible points of improvement, using the outcomes as indicators of the quality of care that was provided.
Interest in this measurement continues to grow, and there is a trend for this to end up as part of the criteria that are considered in value-based payment. With this model, healthcare providers receive payment as a function of the patient outcomes in terms of improvement of the patient’s health, reduction of the effects and incidence of chronic diseases, and improvement in quality of life, all based on evidence.
This model would enable a focus on the value of the service provided, making the healthcare system as a whole more efficient, as noted in the Fenin document on personalized respiratory therapies. In fact, this goal is already being achieved in projects like the one at Sant Pau and Bellvitge hospitals where they are using distance monitoring with pacemaker patients and are improving certain indicators that measure care quality, for example, the reduction of unscheduled visits.
In addition to this indicator (reduction of visits), according to the Fenin document mentioned, quality of care can also be measured by:
- Patient’s quality of life
- Reduction of hospital admissions
- Reduction of mortality because of increased adherence
- Degree of patient satisfaction with the process and care received
- Experience of the provider/prescriber/patient
In this context, it becomes more important to track and record those indicators based on data reported by patients using technology, as the data are more reliable when they are collected in a timely way. This information, reported through PROMs and PREMs, symptom questionnaires, therapeutic adherence, etc. enables the patient’s health outcomes to be reported and conclusions to be drawn about the quality of care and the therapy.
To do this, at Persei vivarium we rely on Caaring®, our digital patient platform that responds to this need to collect information directly from the patient throughout the process of care and treatment, enabling the generation of evidence about their quality, along with the identification of possible improvements.
Ultimately, in the future it will be routine to measure the quality of care, as that will provide real-life results of the processes and therapies. To do this through technology that facilitates—in real time—the collection, measurement, and analysis of this type of information, will help us improve the efficiency of the healthcare system and, more importantly, the patients’ experience and quality of life.