Measuring success

Continuously monitor progress and improve with experience.

Why is this important?

Teams need to see that the changes they are asked to implement are having the desired effect. Selecting a set of one or more measures to track over time, and providing that information to the entire clinic team at the local level is crucial to improving and sustaining the work. Examples might include process measures like proportion of patients with a signed updated patient agreement, or more distal outcomes, such as proportion of patients on high-dose opioids. Set a goal for improvement over a reasonable time period, and provide clinicians and staff with frequent updates on progress.

XYZ Clinic set a goal that “no more than 10% of COT patients have an MED of 90 or above.” The clinic tracked this quarterly and gave a list of patients with an MED of 90 or more to providers to review and confirm that those patients had a tapering plan.

Example activities

  • Develop consensus on measures of success and define how they will be measured
  • Regularly review measures of success data at the clinician level

Continuously monitor progress and improve with experience.

18. Monitoring progress 123 456 789 101112
A system to measure and monitor progress in opioid management practice change… …does not exist. …exists, including overall tracking goals, but regular tracking reports on specific objectives have not been produced. …is used to produce regular tracking reports on specific objectives. Leadership reviews are done occasionally, but not on a formal schedule. …has been fully implemented to measure and track progress on specific objectives. Leadership reviews progress reports regularly and adjustments and improvements are implemented.
19. Assessing and modifying 123 456 789 101112
Adjustments to achieve safer opioid prescribing based on monitoring data… …are not being made. …are occasionally made, but are limited in scope and consistency. …are often made and are usually timely. …are consistently made and are integrated in overall quality improvement strategies.

Measuring Success resources

Measuring success metrics: A list of potential aims to use to measure success

CDC Quality Improvement Measures: Measures that align with the recommendations outlined in the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

Measuring outcomes survey: A survey to assess measures at the start and end of practice transformation work.

Prepare and Launch milestonesA tool to track progress in achieving Prepare and Launch stage milestones.

Design and Implement milestonesA tool to track progress in achieving milestones of improving opioid management through the Six Building Blocks Program.

DIY Run ChartA DIY Excel tool from the Safety Medical Home Initiative that you can use to track progress over time on a measure (e.g., up-to-date patient agreements).

Event tally: A form to help a clinic track a simple measure of interest over a couple weeks.