ElectronicHealthcare 9(2) July 2010 : e3-e9

Realizing the Benefits of Standardized Measures of Clinical Outcomes

Lynn M. Nagle, Peggy White and Dorothy Pringle


Funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), Ontario's Health Outcomes for Better Information and Care (HOBIC) captures standardized patient outcome data related to nursing care in four sectors: acute care, long-term care, complex continuing care and home care. Implementation began in 2006, and by March 31, 2010, over 183 organizations in the province were collecting HOBIC measures and providing daily live feeds to the HOBIC database.

The HOBIC database has two purposes. It provides "anonymized" aggregate data for researchers and decision-makers to use in examining clinical outcomes, and it gives clinicians access to individual clinical outcomes to use in planning for and evaluating care. Each participating site has access to its HOBIC data for conducting its own analysis. Furthermore, in light of the recent Excellent Care for All act in Ontario, these clinical outcomes provide the first consistently measured and documented set of metrics by which quality and safety can be monitored in acute care hospitals.

While HOBIC's initial focus was on nursing, the measures it reports on (functional status, continence, pain, fatigue, nausea, dyspnea, falls, pressure ulcers and therapeutic self-care) are patient-centred outcomes and provide valuable information to all clinicians regarding the impact of the care they provide on health status. HOBIC's benefits in participating organizations are already apparent in a number of ways; some are outlined in this paper.



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