Outcomes Research

The goal of outcomes research at Massachusetts General Hospital is to examine the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions in real world scenarios.

Studying Real World Results to Improve Patient Care

At Massachusetts General Hospital, the research process doesn’t end with the development of a new diagnostic, device or treatment. In many ways, this is only the beginning.

The goal of outcomes research at Mass General is to examine the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions in real-world scenarios. It looks beyond the patients and the treatment itself, and examines the impact of health care quality, health systems and social and economic factors on therapeutic outcomes. 

Here are some examples of questions investigated by our outcomes researchers:

  • What are the factors affecting length of hospital stay and likelihood of readmission?
  • How does the length of a patient’s operation relate to likelihood of infection?
  • How do patient outcomes in our health care system compare to those in other countries?
  • What are some areas where we still see disparities in patient treatment and outcomes?
  • What is the influence of insurance coverage and health care reform on patient outcomes?
  • How is health care quality truly measured?

Outcomes research also takes a very patient-centered approach. This research is meant to engage patients and the community to examine issues that matter to them, such as quality of life, functional outcomes and costs of care.

To see examples of how the Department of Surgery develops generalizable knowledge from real-world patient care outcomes, please visit the Codman Center for Clinical Effectiveness in Surgery website.

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