The following is an excerpt from the White Paper “The 6-Sigma Clinician.” The full White Paper can be downloaded here.
Measurable Goals and Objectives
A few uses of data in clinical practice involve the tracking of diagnoses and symptoms, tracking the status of goals and objectives against target dates, utilization management, and individual client outcomes. Continual tracking and analysis of tracking data drives towards wisdom as treatment progresses. This is achieved through ongoing quality reviews of the delivery and impact of services, and by using this information to revise treatment for more effective and efficient care to improve the lives of service recipients.
In order to use Data-to-Wisdom to inform treatment you need to establish outcomes, goals and objectives that can be measured. An outcomes, goal or objective statement is not measurable unless it provides some way for the clinician and client to observe that the desired action of change has occurred or progress is being made.
For a deeper understanding of the Data-to-Wisdom Continuum, read Reports Don’t Improve Outcomes!
Statements that do not result in a clear and countable action will leave the clinician’s assessment open to speculation. Let’s look at both measurable and non-measurable goal statements.
Example (non measurable):
“Bob will increase his cooking skills over the next 4 weeks.”
Measurable means there is some objective way of observation, i.e. by viewing or listening. Let’s revise the statement so that they same goal can become measurable.
“Bob will increase his cooking skills by preparing 5 meals per week, for the next 4 consecutive weeks.”
As a companion to this objective, Bob should have a tool for tracking via self-report for each week. Bob will keep a log of each meal he prepares and eats during the course of the four weeks. This log can then be reviewed with his clinician so that the clinician can record Bob’s progress at the end of the 4 weeks to compare his results to the objectives measure.
Without converting goals and objectives into measurable actions with a means of obtaining client input, the data will be a result of speculation and not the type of discrete data needed for the Data-to-Wisdom Continuum to be effective. Now that you are ready to capture goals and client input with discrete data points, the next step is to identify the types of tools needed to capture the data and explore how to pull that data productively through the episode of care in a way that opens up multiple angles from which to assess the effectiveness of treatment and make adjustments.
Lear more about data informed treatment planning in the full White Paper, The 6-Sigma Clinician.