The confusion between "doing it right" and "doing the right thing" shows up in the organization's ongoing planning process. "Doing the right thing" is a strategic planning question.
The development of services and supports around outcomes for people stretches the role of the organization's employees, especially those professionals performing assessments and evaluations.
Application of outcome measures in employment settings has shown that the outcomes that assist people to find, secure and sustain a meaningful employment do not differ significantly from those used to measure success in other life areas.
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Service coordination attempts to unify the pattern of services and supports that are provided to individuals with disabilities.
A valid and reliable person-centered outcome quality improvement system builds upon these traditional quality measures
The use of person-centered outcomes shifts the definition of quality from the program focus to an individual focus. Outcome measures emphasize responsiveness to individual needs rather than compliance with organizational process or program requirements.
After looking at CQL's Personal Outcome Measures®, a family member remarked, "These are all so simple and basic. This is what we all want in our lives."
The use of outcomes in services represents a fundamental shift in how we think and do business in the human service world -- not just new standards for quality.
The Personal Outcome Measures® are action oriented. Individuals and organizations learn about and become proficient in personal outcomes through implementation.
Most people agree that an effective quality improvement effort requires a combination of leadership, commitment, and belief in the possibility of change. The difficulty is how to design an approach that is simple, clear, and consistent while leaving room for creativity.
Since CQL published the Personal Outcome Measures® in 1993, we have continued to emphasize the importance of understanding how individuals define the outcomes for themselves. The Personal Outcome Measures® are not prescriptive.
Performance improvement with Personal Outcome Measures® does not mean that performance improvement only occurs person by person. Instead, improvement activities need to focus on the entire organization's abilities to support actions and individuals that promote the achievement of outcomes.
This rapidly changing world of human services suggests that we check our anchor definition of quality. Webster’s dictionary characterizes quality as “essential character”, “superiority in kind,” and a “degree of excellence.” These definitions suggest that compliance with licensing and certification standards alone may not demonstrate superiority in kind.
Measurement is important because it is a form of feedback. Interviews with the Personal Outcome Measures® provide an added dimension of feedback for the organization. People served, staff, volunteers, and families should use these findings and inconsistencies and contradictions to probe further into the organizations' systems of service and support.