Recording and Measuring Outcomes

Key points

  • Recording (plans / case notes) takes time and often responds to different demands
  • Including what matters to people does not require extra time and there are resources to support this
  • Recording outcomes with people can help to build trust and relationships
  • ‘Measuring’ outcomes can be required for planning, reporting and commissioning purposes and should flow from recording rather than driving decisions
  • There is useful learning about possibilities and limits of measurement and outcomes
outcome and the many parts that combine to make it

Recording is an essential task in human services. It clarifies purpose and can support effective partnership with people who use services. Recording is also necessary for planning, monitoring and reviewing progress. What matters to people should be part of the record.  However, other pressures mean that what matters sometimes gets lost in recording.

Meaningful and Measurable

The ESRC funded Meaningful and Measurable project involved 8 health, social care carer and children’s organisations in Scotland & Wales. We collectively identified 5 criteria for outcomes focused recording.

We are currently working with Social Care Wales on a resource to support outcome focused recording in adult and children’s services.

An earlier guide on recording outcomes from 2011 illustrates some common errors and solutions Recording Outcomes in Care and Support

Measuring outcomes can be challenging but there is learning about what works.

Traditional approaches to measurement do not necessarily fit with personal outcomes, as signaled in the following resources.  Our collection of briefings from the Meaningful and Measurable project covers diverse aspects of our collective learning about measuring outcomes

This resource from NHS England looks at different approaches to personal outcomes in health settings:

Resources produced with Iriss

In 2011 we worked with Iriss to produce an evidence summary (and animation) on the challenges of measuring outcomes. In 2013 we collaborated on a guide to measuring outcomes and the role of qualitative data.

Presentations from our recording and measuring outcomes workshop

The quarterly event of the Personal Outcomes Network in February 2020 focused on recording and measuring outcomes. The following presentations are from that day: