This article describes the challenges and solutions in determining whether a patient’s treatment has been successful. Such an assessment depends on multiple factors, including the patient’s pretreatment status; the qualifications of personnel performing the treatment; the treating facility’s infrastructure and culture; the use of evidence-based clinical processes; the baseline incidence of treatment complications; and, most challenging, the ability to measure the outcomes that matter to patients. Recent advances in IT and the development of validated measurement instruments now enable consistent collection and analysis of metrics that capture all the relevant dimensions of a patient’s treatment. These data can be mobilized for learning that improves clinical and administrative processes, optimization of care pathways, shared decision-making, accountability, and payment contracting. Providers can now have access to the tools and technology that allow them to be transparent about and accountable for the outcomes that their patients experience.
Robert S. Kaplan is a paid advisor and has equity holdings in Avant-garde Health. Andrea Pusic is a codeveloper of the BREAST-Q and may receive royalties when it is used in for-profit, industry-sponsored clinical trials. Lara Jehi, Clifford Y. Ko, and Mary Witkowski have nothing to disclose.
NEJM Catalyst Innovations in Care Delivery
Copyright ©2021 Massachusetts Medical Society.
Published online: January 20, 2021
Published in issue: January 20, 2021
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