Despite the trillions of dollars invested into health care annually, we rarely collect systematically the end results of care – outcomes. Lacking outcome data, providers are unable to learn how good they are compared to their peers and where they can improve. This general ignorance also affects patients and payers: patients are unable to select providers who can best treat their condition, and payment is based on activity rather than results. In some pioneering areas, routine outcome measurement exists, but for most areas of medicine and in most countries, it is absent. We formed ICHOM in 2012 to accelerate the move to outcomes measurement by defining global Standard Sets of outcomes and risk factors we recommend all providers track. This talk will provide a background on the rationale for these Standard Sets, a brief description of the process used to develop them, and an idea toward the potential impact of their use around the world (see for more background).


Caleb Stowell is Vice President, Research and Development, at the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM); and Senior Researcher at Harvard Business School. His role involves overseeing the development of ICHOM’s Standard Sets, developed in collaboration with international physician and registry leaders and patient advocates. In the past, he worked under Michael Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School, to develop and expand the concepts of value-based health care. He holds a medical degree from Harvard Medical School.