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The Utility of External Performance Measurement Tools in Program Evaluation

Authors

  • Robert L. Harmon MD,

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • All of the authors are affiliated with the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. Robert Harmon is an associate professor, Laurie Sheehy is a senior clinical speech-language pathologist, and Diane Davis is an adjunct assistant professor.

  • Laurie M. Sheehy MEd CCC-SLP,

    Search for more papers by this author
    • All of the authors are affiliated with the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. Robert Harmon is an associate professor, Laurie Sheehy is a senior clinical speech-language pathologist, and Diane Davis is an adjunct assistant professor.

  • Diane M. Davis BS PT

    Search for more papers by this author
    • All of the authors are affiliated with the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. Robert Harmon is an associate professor, Laurie Sheehy is a senior clinical speech-language pathologist, and Diane Davis is an adjunct assistant professor.


Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical College of Ohio, PO Box 10008, Toledo, OH 43699-0008.

Abstract

Many rehabilitation hospitals use formal measurement tools to evaluate program performance. A potential advantage to using the Functional Independence Measure™ instrument through the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSmr) is that it provides information that allows an institution to compare its level of performance to those of other facilities. To assess whether joining UDSmr, along with an institution's continuous quality improvement efforts, could be associated with improved program performance, the records of a rehabilitation hospital's internal inpatient Program Evaluation System (PES) were reviewed for 6 fiscal years (1990–1995). Quality improvement efforts during 1995 (during which a 51% improvement in length of stay efficiency was noted) included education for staff, feedback on team performance, and efforts to formulate clinical pathways. Although external measures of performance do not have a direct effect on quality improvement, they could help identify areas of potential improvement that might not be appreciated when internal assessment systems are used alone.

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