Outcomes research is a broad area of research that can be applied to virtually any specialty area of medicine, ranging from cardiology to geriatrics. Outcomes research examines real-world links between clinical observations and outcomes to determine what works and doesn't. Outcomes research is defined by its methods, using statistical and epidemiology sciences to answer clinical questions, address public health issues, or establish practice policies. The field examines a broad range of issues related to quality of care, patient safety, cost-effectiveness, disparities, quality of life, and patient satisfaction. It uses data from a range of data sources, including registries, claims data, patient portals, and even biosensors.
Outcomes research enables investigators to challenge assumptions and established practices, consider novel approaches, adopt best practices, and coordinate care. The ultimate goal of outcomes research is to provide health care that is high quality, cost-effective, and patient-centered, which aligns perfectly with Sentara's mission.