The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1997 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

Outcomes, Outcomes, Outcome

Trina Limberg, BS, RRT, RCP, Saturday, December 6, 1997.


Outcome measures are necessary to evaluate program effectiveness. Outcomes are also required for Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI). Selecting which measures to use can be challenging. Outcome measures need to be based on the validity and reliability of the instrument and the ease of which it can be administered and scored.

Pulmonary rehabilitation programs have been show to:

* Improve exercise endurance/tolerance * Improve symptoms of muscle fatigue and dyspnea * Quality of life * Decrease hospital days and emergency room visits

Fewer controlled studies have proven decreased utilization of health care resources. Self-reported information may not be accurate. Patients participating in capitation HMO plans may be easier to track due to integrated information systems.

I. What outcome measures should pulmonary rehabilitation programs collect?

* Dyspnea Measures * Exercise Variables * Quality of Life * Health Care Utilization

Health Care Utilization can be particularly important with managed care business as generating a cost-savings is expected. Tracking health care use can be difficult. This area is less researched and lacks an easy to use validated instrument. Asking for self-reports over time frames such as six months to a year may not be reliable information. Chart audits or reviews can be cumbersome as some patients may receive care from more than one health care system.

II. What constitutes a good instrument?

III. What are the characteristics of available instruments?

III. Who should collect the outcome measures?

IV. When should the measures be collected?

V. What resources will be needed?

Important Reference: AACVPR Outcome Tools Resource Guide, phone: (608)831-6989

AARC 50th Anniversary, December 6 - 9, 1997, New Orleans, Louisiana.

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