Inside The Personal Outcome Measures®
Through the Personal Outcome Measures®, people receiving services share what really matters to them, including their hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Organizations can then use that information to better focus their services and improve the quality of people’s lives.
What Are The Personal Outcome Measures®?
In a Personal Outcome Measures® interview, 21 indicators are used to gain valuable insight into the lives of youth, adults, and older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities. The interview covers a variety of topics, including choice, health, safety, social capital, relationships, rights, employment, and more. For decades, the internationally-recognized tool has been an effective data set for valid and reliable measurement of individual quality of life.
Why Are They Important?
When people directly describe what they want out of their life, organizations can ensure that services are actually facilitating those outcomes. At an individual level, the Personal Outcome Measures® can be used to inform a truly person-centered plan, and track progress in implementing that plan. At an aggregate level, organizations can collect Personal Outcome Measures® data to analyze the impact of their supports, identify effective services, and highlight areas where additional work is needed.
"I had a goal to volunteer in the community. We used the Personal Outcome Measures® to accomplish that goal."
Jessica Pinto, person receiving services
"We see Personal Outcome Measures® as a measure of the success of the person-centered plan."
Kate Bishop, OPWDD
"Personal Outcome Measures® isn’t something we do, it’s everything that we do. It’s really embedded in our values."
Kim Zoeller, Ray Graham Association
"The Personal Outcome Measures® is such a useful tool that enables us to really get to know people."
Jennifer Battaglia, Community Connections, Inc.
Employees and organizations use outcomes to learn about people. Organizations discover what and how much an outcome means to each person. The choice of priority outcomes is very personal and grounded in people’s current and past life experiences. Personal Outcome Measures® can be used in learning about people and discovering individual outcomes. But people’s own experiences, challenges, and personalities always guide the learning process.
Once an organization has learned a person’s definition of the outcomes, the organization provides the services to facilitate outcome achievement. These services are processes focused on outcomes, not ends in themselves. Frequently the process begins with a person-centered plan. Those who support people are provided with tools to assist people in achieving personal goals. Organizations may use a variety of methods to facilitate outcomes.
After the organization aligns supports to facilitate personal outcomes, it determines if the outcomes were achieved. This occurs after extensive interactions and communication with people and those who know them best. CQL has developed a series of questions that follow a logic chain to guide decisions about the presence of outcomes. From this perspective, the measurement of the outcome defined by the person is a very objective process.
Have questions about Personal Outcome Measures®?
Personal Outcome Measures® Factors and Indicators
The Personal Outcome Measures® includes 21 indicators, organized under 5 factors, to better understand the desired outcomes of people receiving services.Download Listing
My Human Security
- People are safe
- People are free from abuse and neglect
- People have the best possible health
- People experience continuity and security
- People exercise rights
- People are treated fairly
- People are respected
- People use their environments
- People live in integrated environments
- People interact with other members of the community
- People participate in the life of the community
- People are connected to natural support networks
- People have friends
- People have intimate relationships
- People decide when to share personal information
- People perform different social roles
- People choose where and with whom they live
- People choose where they work
- People choose services
- People choose personal goals
- People realize personal goals
- Contact the person, explain the purpose of your visit and get permission to proceed.
- Find out if the person needs any special accommodations (seating, communication assistance, personal supports, etc.).
- Give the person options about the time and place.
- A location familiar to the person often contains environmental cues and symbols that contribute to a good information exchange.
- Check the person’s comfort level with the setting — seating arrangements, open or closed doors, other people present.
- Do not form assumptions, perceptions, or opinions about the person ahead of time.
- Explain why you are meeting with the person.
- Provide the person with the Outcomes Overview Guide.
- Affirm the person’s right to decline to answer questions and to end the meeting.
- Observe and listen to everything.
- Take notes on exactly what is communicated.
- Be aware of body language and other cues.
- Avoid making decisions at this time.
- Review and organize information from the discussion.
- Make a list of items that need clarification.
- Identify other people who can provide clarification.
- Talk with the person’s family, friends, and staff as needed.
- Visit with the person again in a different setting for further clarification.
- Observe support activities and interactions.
- Check documentation when you need details or verification of information.
- Always begin by meeting the person with an expectation for success.
- Spend time with the person, observing how the person interacts (or does not) with you or other people.
- Find out who knows the person best.
- Enlist the assistance of the people most familiar with the person and the person’s style of communication.
- Talk with as many people as possible who are very close to the person.
- Observe the person in as many different environments as possible.
Beyond the presence of outcomes and the supports in place to help people achieve those outcomes, agencies often require additional data analysis across a variety of data elements. An organization may want to explore whether a specific type of residential setting has any implications for a person participating in the life of their community. When it comes to people exercising their rights, agencies may want to evaluate decision-making authority to understand how autonomy and independence can affect the presence of particular rights. To dive deeper into the effect of staffing changes in various homes, outcomes data involving continuity and security could be reviewed by geographical location.
Organizations are now using CQL’s PORTAL Data System, for the reporting, tracking, analysis, and logging of outcomes data. It is a secure, online tool to collect and evaluate your discoveries during Personal Outcome Measures® interviews. PORTAL integrates the information-gathering questions and decision-making matrix that are outlined within each indicator of the Personal Outcome Measures® manual. The data system aligns with the manual, which can serve as a convenient crosswalk for entering data.
Personal Outcome Measures® Manual for Adults
Inside the Personal Outcome Measures® manual:
- View descriptions about the POM factors and indicators
- Receive guidance about the entire process
- Learn how to gather information and make decisions
- Discover techniques for interviewing and measurement
Introduction to Personal Outcome Measures®
- Overview of POM, including the 5 Factors and 21 Indicators
- Role of POM in understanding quality of life and assessing agency supports
- Relationship between POM and Person-Centered Planning
- Implementation of POM within your organization