Evidence-Based Practice And Patient Care Outcomes

Beyea, S., & Nicoll, L. (2000). Evaluating patient care programs. AORN Journal, 71(1), 228-231.

This article is about the use of the Clinical Value Compass (CVC). It is explored in many situations that research is not the best and only approach to gain the needed answer for a specific question. Program evaluation of patient care can also help clinicians make decisions in relation to clinical innovations. Program evaluations help clinicians assess what works and what does not. It shows how the program contributes to the patient’s health and how the program costs relate to the outcomes. The meaningful data should have the patient’s outcomes, costs and quality. The CVC provides a framework to successfully evaluate a program. It measures biological outcomes, functional health status, satisfaction and costs. Biological outcomes include morbidity, mortality, diagnostic tests, laboratory findings and complication rates. Physical and mental functions, health status, role and social functions are included in the functional outcomes. Satisfaction is comprised of the patient’s and family’s satisfaction with the healthcare processes and clinical outcomes. Costs include direct cost of care, medications, follow-up visits and treatments; indirect costs include the patient’s time from work and activities. When evaluating a program, its purpose and scope should be examined first. Then, key outcomes should be identified and operational definitions established. Lastly, design or select measurement parameters.

In general, using the CVC can provide a useful framework and present valuable data for program evaluation. It helps clinicians create a measurement criterion and improve the quality of care for the patient’s and family members.