How do allied health professionals evaluate new models of care? What are we measuring and why?

Tracy A. Comans, Michele J. Clark, Linda Cartmill, Susan Ash, Lorraine A. Sheppard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to identify what outcome measures or quality indicators are being used to evaluate advanced and new roles in nine allied health professions and whether the measures are evaluating outcomes of interest to the patient, the clinician, or the healthcare provider. A systematic search strategy was used. Medical and allied health databases were searched and relevant articles extracted. Relevant studies with at least 1 outcome measure were evaluated. A total of 106 articles were identified that described advanced roles, however, only 23 of these described an outcome measure in sufficient detail to be included for review. The majority of the reported measures fit into the economic and process categories. The most reported outcome related to patients was satisfaction surveys. Measures of patient health outcomes were infrequently reported. It is unclear from the studies evaluated whether new models of allied healthcare can be shown to be as safe and effective as traditional care for a given procedure. Outcome measures chosen to evaluate these services often reflect organizational need and not patient outcomes. Organizations need to ensure that high-quality performance measures are chosen to evaluate the success of new health service innovations. There needs to be a move away from in-house type surveys that add little or no valid evidence as to the effect of a new innovation. More importance needs to be placed on patient outcomes as a measure of the quality of allied health interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalJournal for Healthcare Quality
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


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