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Conference Summary: Improving Health Care Outcomes through Geriatric Rehabilitation

Kathleen N. Lohr
Medical Care
Vol. 35, No. 6, Boston Working Group on Improving Health Care Outcomes through Geriatric Rehabilitation: Proceedings from the Conference May 16-18, 1996 (Jun., 1997), pp. JS121-JS130
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3766798
Page Count: 10
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Conference Summary: Improving Health Care Outcomes through Geriatric Rehabilitation
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Abstract

The Boston Working Group on Improving Health Care Outcomes Through Geriatric Rehabilitation was structured around four major themes: (1) defining disability or disablement; (2) the patient's experience of the processes and outcomes of care; (3) the role and value of clinical practice guidelines; and (4) the need for casemix and severity or risk adjustment procedures and measures. These discussions produced opening statements of policy or empiric issues and recommendations about the best means of demonstrating the benefits of geriatric rehabilitation and, in particular, how to measure, ensure, and improve the quality of rehabilitation services, especially for the elderly. This article summarizes the reports from the work groups and identifies some common themes. Critical points include: (1) the need to define and describe geriatric rehabilitation better for nonexperts in the health field and for patients and consumers in general; (2) the need for more research to link rehabilitation processes with measurable and clinically important outcomes; (3) the breadth and depth of domains of processes and outcomes of care that ideally could and should be measured; and (4) the need to reach many audiences with a clear message about the importance of geriatric rehabilitation in ensuring high quality of care and good health status and functional outcomes for all elderly patients.

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