Guest Editor Column The Merger of Outcome Measurement and Health Care Policy: A Social Epidemic Editorial
Editorial  |   June 01, 2015
Guest Editor Column
Author Notes
Article Information
Editorial
Editorial   |   June 01, 2015
Guest Editor Column
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, June 2015, Vol. 25, 91-93. doi:10.1044/nnsld25.3.91
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, June 2015, Vol. 25, 91-93. doi:10.1044/nnsld25.3.91
“…the success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts” (Gladwell, 2000, p. 33).
Long before most of us had heard the phrase “change agent,” Dr. Carol Frattali was one. In the early 1990s Carol recognized the inevitable merger of healthcare policies with clinically (functionally) meaningful outcomes data (Frattali, 1992). Over the course of her career, up to her untimely death in 2004, she worked with colleagues to provide a means for measuring functionally relevant outcomes in communication disorders to ensure our profession was well-positioned for that inevitability and to advance a client-centered perspective on assessment and treatment. She studied, led projects, lectured, and wrote on the topics of evidence-based practice; functionally and socially validated measurement; the World Health Organization's ICF schema for health outcome measurement; and the relationship between “quality” of clinical services and the sources of evidence for and costs of quality as measured by efficacy, effectiveness, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness data. She defined for us what the word “quality” means from the perspective of the healthcare industry and policy makers. She promoted a clinical view of assessments that captured an individual's activity and participation goals and outcomes and self-reported quality of life status. Frattali put an encyclopedia of models, tools, practices, and policies into her edited compendium on the topic of Measuring Outcomes in Speech-Language Pathology (Frattali, 1998). That text helped to bring outcome measurement into classroom lectures and clinical practice. That seminal edition, and the recent second edition in this series (Golper & Frattali, 2012), educate the profession about converging trends, influences, and issues and are intended to motivate us to examine and discuss the tools and methodologies applicable to speech-language pathology clinical services, organizational performance, research, and graduate education outcome measurement.
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