Measurement: Process and Outcome Indicators
Methods of Quality Improvement
Things Quality Improvement is NOT
Summative Experience

Defining Process and Outcome

Structure is a relatively easy concept to define, as it is typically the physical plant (e.g., buildings, equipment, raw material, parts). Defining process and outcome becomes key in understanding a QI project.

What is the difference between Process and Outcome?


  • How Healthcare is provided
  • How the system works


  • Health status
  • Does it make a difference?
Check your understanding:
For each of the following, indicate whether the measure is structure (S), process (P), or outcome (O).
Manufacturing capacity at the Rubber Duck factory.
Number of asthma patients with ED visits this quarter.
What percentages of children have received their immunizations?
Are there enough hospital beds to meet the community’s demand in the event of a catastrophe?
How many of my diabetics are receiving yearly foot exams?
How many of my smoking patients have successfully quit?
Of the statements above that are process, can you define an outcome measurement? Again it is often more difficult to measure outcomes, but if it is possible it is also a powerful measurement.
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