Categorizing Outcomes of Health Care Delivery

Levy, Adrian R.
December 2005
Clinical & Investigative Medicine;Dec2005, Vol. 28 Issue 6, p347
Academic Journal
After a patient presents with symptoms of illness and undergoes treatment, there are three features of care that require assessment: the impact of delivering care on the patient, the benefits and harms of treatment, and the functioning of the health care system. This formulation leads to three types of outcomes of care delivery that require assessment: 1) patient outcomes, which reflect the impact on patients of undergoing care; 2) treatment outcomes, which reflect the intended and unintended medical consequences of undergoing therapy; and 3) system outcomes, which reflect the impact on the system of delivering health care to a group of patients. In this paper, examples of these three types of outcomes are presented, with particular reference to coronary artery bypass graft surgery. It is argued that the current focus of computer simulation models on system outcomes should be expanded to include patient and treatment outcomes.


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