StATS: Outcomes research (November 24, 2004).
Someone asked me for a simple definition of outcomes research. I hemmed and hawed and could not come up with a good definition. It turns out that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has a nice definition:
Outcomes research seeks to understand the end results of particular health care practices and interventions. End results include effects that people experience and care about, such as change in the ability to function. In particular, for individuals with chronic conditions—where cure is not always possible—end results include quality of life as well as mortality. By linking the care people get to the outcomes they experience, outcomes research has become the key to developing better ways to monitor and improve the quality of care. Supporting improvements in health outcomes is a strategic goal of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ, formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research). -- www.ahrq.gov/clinic/outfact.htm
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