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Outcomes Research. Outcomes Research. The study of the results or outcomes of diverse medical therapies for a single disease, illness, or condition The establishment of preferred therapies and practice guidelines to improve patient care. Evolution of Outcomes Research.

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outcomes research1
Outcomes Research
  • The study of the results or outcomes of diverse medical therapies for a single disease, illness, or condition
  • The establishment of preferred therapies and practice guidelines to improve patient care
evolution of outcomes research
Evolution of Outcomes Research
  • Geographic Variation Studies
  • Appropriateness Research
  • Paul Ellwood\'s 1988 Shattuck Lecture -- Outcomes Management NEJM 1988; 318:1549-1556
geographic variation studies
Geographic Variation Studies
  • Findings: Wide geographic variation in surgical procedures without identifiable differences in pre-treatment medical condition
  • Example: Five-fold difference in tonsillectomy rates in counties of Vermont

“There are no data available that would allow us to relate these variations to the prevalence of tonsillitis, but it appears that the variations are more likely to be associated with differences in beliefs among physicians concerning the indications for, and efficacy of, the procedure.”

John E. Wennberg, MD, MPH 1973

appropriateness research
Appropriateness Research
  • Attempt to explain geographic variation
  • Panel of “experts” assembled to establish guidelines for evaluation of appropriateness
  • Findings: Large percentage of coronary angiography, carotid endarterectomy, and other procedures performed with “inappropriate” or “equivocal” indications in both high and low-use areas
outcomes management a technology of patient experience
Outcomes Management-- A Technology of Patient Experience
  • Paul Ellwood\'s lecture to Massachusetts Medical Society, May 1998
  • The problem is our inability to measure and understand the effects of the choices of patients, payers, and physicians on the patient’s aspirations for a better quality of life
  • The result is that we have uninformed patients, skeptical payers, frustrated physicians, and besieged health care executives
techniques or technologies that are envisioned to support outcomes management
Techniques Or Technologies That Are Envisioned To Support Outcomes Management
  • Greater reliance on standards and guidelines that physicians can use in selecting appropriate Rx
  • Routine and systematic measurement of the functioning and well-being of patients, along with disease-specific clinical outcomes
  • Pool clinical and outcome data on a massive scale
  • Analyze and disseminate results from the segment of the data base most appropriate to the concerns of each decision maker
differences between outcomes research and traditional clinical research
Differences Between Outcomes Research and Traditional Clinical Research
  • New Research Methodologies
  • Expanded Description of Disease and Outcome
new research methodologies
New Research Methodologies
  • Prospective observational studies of multiple therapies for a specific disease
  • Para-analysis of results of therapy from large computerized, administrative, and financial data bases
  • Meta-analysis, Literature Review, and Consensus Techniques
prospective observational studies of multiple therapies
Prospective, Observational Studies of Multiple Therapies
  • Patients studied in “natural” clinical setting
  • No attempts to select or control treatments
  • Primary data
analysis from large computerized administrative and financial data bases e g medicare
Analysis from Large, Computerized, Administrative, and Financial Data Bases (e.g., Medicare)
  • Study results of treatment over wide geographic areas and large numbers of patients
  • Secondary data
meta analysis literature review and consensus techniques
Meta-Analysis, Literature Review, and Consensus Techniques
  • Analysis of the results of therapies from the published literature
  • Expert opinion for the determination of preferred therapies
expanded description of disease and outcome
Expanded Description of Disease and Outcome
  • Patient-based rating scales, questionnaires, and instruments to measure relevant but previously unstudied aspects of disease such as symptoms, functional ability, quality of life, and satisfaction with care
  • Attention to impact of comorbidities
methodologic requirements for outcomes research
Methodologic Requirements for Outcomes Research
  • Establish diagnostic criteria for disease and population under study; use methods to avoid bias in collection
  • Create clinical-severity index for prognostic stratification
  • Identify and measure co-morbid conditions
  • Establish outcomes measures which incorporate traditional end-points with assessments of symptoms, functional capacity, quality of life, and satisfaction with care
diagnostic criteria for disease
Diagnostic Criteria for Disease
  • Consensus Conference
  • Literature Review
  • Clinical Research
create clinical severity index
Create Clinical-Severity Index
  • Clinical severity implies the seriousness or prognosis of disease
  • The need to define how sick a patient is in order to
    • Assess diagnostic efficiency
    • Refine prognosis
    • Evaluate therapeutic effectiveness
identify and measure comorbid conditions
Identify and Measure Comorbid Conditions
  • Comorbidity--the presence of concomitant disease, not related to the index disease which may affect the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis for the patient
  • Prognostic comorbidity--concomitant disease severe enough to impact on outcome of interest
  • Therapeutic comorbidity--concomitant disease which prevents use of ideal or preferred therapy
ace 27 on line form
ACE-27 “On-Line” Form


establish outcome measures
Establish Outcome Measures
  • Mortality
  • Morbidity
  • Health Status (General/Disease-Specific)
    • Physical
    • Functional
    • Emotional
  • Health-Related Quality of Life
  • Satisfaction with Care
general health status
General Health Status
  • Medical Outcomes Study SF-36
    • Originally developed for study of utilization of health insurance
    • 36 items
    • Measures health status in 8 domains
      • PF, RP, BP, GH, VT, SF, RE, and MH
    • Scores range from 0-100 on each domain
disease specific health status
Disease-Specific Health Status
  • Sino-Nasal Outcome Test-20
    • 20 sino-nasal specific items
    • Identified from focus group discussions
    • Response category for each item none, mild, moderate, and severe
    • Patients identify important items
patient satisfaction with medical care
Patient Satisfaction with Medical Care
  • Direct measures involve asking patients to evaluate their satisfaction
  • Patients’ judgments of their medical care can be measured reliably and accurately
  • These measurements can be used to compare how patients evaluate different practice styles, administrative arrangements, and treatment modalities

Case Study: Patient Satisfaction

  • Department of Otolaryngology acquired patient satisfaction data before and after implementing quality improvement efforts
  • Saw significant increase in % Excellent scores after quality improvement
which diseases to study
Which Diseases to Study?
  • Wide variations in clinical practice
  • Large segment of population affected
  • Use of new and expensive technology as part of diagnosis or treatment
  • Evolved from Geographic Variation and Appropriateness Studies
  • Utilizes new methodologies for the evaluation of the effects of diverse therapies on patient outcome
  • Introduces new areas of study not traditionally included in the evaluation of medical care
  • Focuses on the evaluation of the outcomes (what resulted) of health care services, rather than the processes (what was done)
  • Many procedures and therapies show geographic variation in utilization and ratings for appropriateness
  • Analysis of appropriateness does not explain geographic variation
  • Some have concluded that lack of consensus on the “correct” way to practice medicine explains variation
outcomes primer
Outcomes Primer

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