Health Target Measures & Education

When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure” – Marilyn Strathern.

Nurse education is not only about the theoretical aspects of education and translational learning, but is measured by clinical outcomes, benchmarking, quality care and subsequent targets to achieve. Education can be difficult to measure, grades are the common method, but what about personal growth and development, or achievement through adversity, these are measures we likely don’t capture in results or evaluations but are they not as/more important as a grade in learning?

It is therefore important for the nurse educator to continually asses and review the bigger picture. Revisit the aims and objectives of the education you deliver and see if the chosen outcome measures paint the full picture. As workplace training increasingly utilises an e-learning approach, consider if this is the ideal way to learn in “hands-on” professions across healthcare. Ask yourself, is the completion percentage your target or are the learning aspects of a learning topic the priority? Compromise is likely to be part of the education role, often due to resources, time allocation and the volume of yearly clinical competencies that must be completed.

Guideline on Developing A Guideline

When developing guidelines and protocols for quality measures, the use of checklists is a common aspect in healthcare best practice delivery (Pronovost, 2013). What may become lost in the wordy guideline or protocol is the main key safety or focus points. Ensure these key points are at the start of the document to drive home the safety measure. Remember that the number of guidelines in your healthcare organisation is likely increasing all the time and this provides an explosion of information that healthcare professionals need to know and access.  But this is information overload territory for the bedside nurse, instead of knowing guidelines inside out, due to the shear volume of number and size of these documents it is just not possible. Knowing which guidelines exist and where to locate are the essential focus points. Maybe a Google Glass type device will be a necessity for accessing time critical information in the future. Why not explore how many actual guidelines and policies your organisation has, it will likely surprise you.

Example of A Checklist With Human & Resource Factors  

Intubation Checklist (front)


Frenk, J., Chen, L., Bhutta, Z. A., Cohen, J., Crisp, N., Evans, T., … & Kistnasamy, B. (2010). Health professionals for a new century: transforming education to strengthen health systems in an interdependent worldThe Lancet376(9756), 1923-1958.

Pronovost, P. (2013). Enhancing physicians’ use of clinical guidelinesJAMA,310(23), 2501-2.

White, T. (2015) Medical student’s startup uses Google Glass to improve patient-physician relationship. Stanford Medicine.

Wikipedia (2018) Goodhart’s Law.