Susan L. Smith, MN, PhD


March 31, 2003


The old database for outcomes assessment essentially amounted to the "dashboard" indicators, which mainly consisted of the 3 "Ds": death, disease, and dollars -- ie, who lived and who died, what the disease categories were, and how long patients stayed (in the hospital) and how much it cost. This approach, however, yielded a limited amount of data relevant to the new set of challenges facing healthcare clinicians and administrators today: documentation of the value of clinical services, meeting payer standards, timely clinical decision making, and differentiating oneself in the competitive healthcare market. These changes require a more comprehensive approach to assessment of outcomes to include more sensitive measures that evaluate objective and subjective data on quality of life.


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