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Effective care has been defined as the use of the most appropriate treatments, interventions, support and services provided to patients at the correct time.  It also refers to the aim to reduce, or indeed remove, wasteful or harmful variation.  So, measuring ‘effectiveness’ is considered in this Framework as measuring the level of change that you have made to a patient’s life as a result of your practice.  It is the amount of objective, measurable improvement in a patient’s life or condition.

Within this Framework we have selected two sub-branches of the effectiveness domain.  These are described briefly below:

Patient Experience
Patient experience measures provide information about a patient’s experience of their healthcare service.  It allows them to give their views on how they have been treated, whether they were able to access the service they needed and whether they were satisfied with their experience.  This is not necessarily looking at what treatment they received or whether that was successful, but instead focuses on how patients felt about the service that they received.  It is an important consideration as there is a link between patients' experiences of health care and how likely they are to adhere to treatments; and it will clearly identify areas where patients are not experiencing the best service, allowing you to implement targeted improvement.  If patients are not having a positive experience of their care and treatment, find out why and alter the service accordingly.

Click here to look at the patient experience measures recommended in the Framework.

Patient Outcome
Patient outcome measures are those that look at the effectiveness of treatments or the change in a patient’s quality of life as a result of these treatments.  The change can be physical, mental, emotional, or a subjective change felt by the patient.  For the purposes of this Framework  we currently divide patient outcome measures into Quality of Life (QoL) measures and Goal Setting measures.

Quality of Life measures look at the patient’s emotional, social and physical wellbeing.  Many measures also look at the patient’s ability to function in their day to day life in relation to their health and wellbeing.  When considering which Quality of Life measure to use, it is helpful for both clinicians and patients to obtain useful, meaningful information from the outcome measure used.  It is important that you carefully match your QoL measure selection to your patient and service information needs (Felton, 2005).

Click here to look at the quality of life measures recommended in the Framework.

Goal Setting measures look to establish treatment goals – basically what your patient aims to achieve during a period of time with you.  It is an individual measure, and sometimes patient goals won’t be met, but the aim is to get them setting ambitious but achievable goals that they can work towards.  It can be really motivating for both a patient and a clinician to see these goals being met, and it can demonstrate exactly what progress was being worked towards and what progress was met during treatment.  One potential danger in the use of goal setting as a means to measure the impact of practice is that services may be tempted to superficial, meaningless goals with the aim of increasing ‘success’ figures and not individual patient benefit.  Clearly this is to be avoided.

Click here to look at the quality of life measures recommended in the Framework.

We recognise that not all outcome measurement can be classified as Patient Experience or Patient Outcome.  These two areas were chosen as they reflect key areas of outcome measurement and are achievable by a wide range of therapists. We offer generalised guidance on how to find and select profession specific outcome measures here and guidance about using Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) here.

Effectiveness: Why measure it?

  • Effective care is a key driver and standard in health care provision.
  • You will be able to demonstrate the difference that you make to your patients.
  • You will be able to easily and objectively measure whether your patients are achieving their treatment goals, have improved in terms of quality of life or have improved in terms of their overall condition.
  • You will be able to measure and demonstrate how your patients perceive your practice (has it helped them, would they recommend it) – this will show how useful/helpful your patients consider your practice to be.

Measuring Effectiveness: What will it tell you?
Measuring effectiveness is useful because it will allow you to demonstrate the difference that your practice has made to patients.  You will be able to use standardised and recognised outcome measures to show that your service is worthwhile, that it makes a difference to patients in terms of how they experience the service, their quality of life and/or whether they are managing to achieve their treatment goals with the help of your practice.

For an overview of all of the effectiveness measures recommended in the Framework (and move onto Stage 3click here.


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