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Standardised approach to measuring goal-based outcomes among older disabled adults: results from a multisite pilot


Background Older adults with complex care needs face trade-offs in determining the right course of treatment. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services identified ‘Care is personalized and aligned with patient’s goals’ as a key meaningful measures category, yet existing quality measures typically assess disease-specific care and may not effectively evaluate what is most important to older adults and family members. Measures based on individualised goals and goal-based outcomes have been proposed as an alternative but are not routinely assessed or implemented.

Objectives We tested two approaches to assessing goal-based outcomes that allow individuals to set goals based on their own priorities and measure progress—(1) goal attainment scaling and (2) existing, validated patient-reported outcome measures (PROM).

Methods A prospective cohort study of feasibility in seven sites (33 clinicians) of the two approaches with 229 individuals. We calculated performance on a measure of achievement of individually identified goals.

Results Both approaches were successfully implemented in a non-randomly selected population, and a goal-based outcome could be calculated for 189 (82%) of participants. Most individuals met their goal-based outcome (73%) with no statistical difference between the goal attainment scaling approach (74%) and the patient-reported outcomes approach (70%). Goals were heterogeneous ranging from participating in activities, health management, independence and physical health. Clinicians chose to use goal attainment scaling (n=184, 80%) more often than PROMs (n=49, 20%) and rated the goal attainment scaling approach as useful for providing patient care.

Conclusion Goal-based outcomes have the potential to both improve the way healthcare is provided and fill a critical gap in value-based payment.

  • performance measures
  • shared decision making
  • patient-centred care
  • quality measurement

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