Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
AKERMAN, Marco and NADANOVSKY, Paulo. Evaluation of health services: what to evaluate?. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1992, vol.8, n.4, pp. 361-365. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X1992000400002.
This article acknowledges the limited influence of health services in the health/disease process as opposed to broader socio-economic factors. However, its aim is to offer a conceptual basis for those who are interested in evaluating the success (quality) of such services. The author maintains that there are two clearly distinct fields of health action, namely non-personal health services and clinical services (McKeown, 1979). In so saying, the author does not intend to reinstate the old dichotomy between prevention and cure, but to create a methodological distinction which could aid the evaluation process, since each level of action has its own indicators of success. The article also explores the concept of quality for clinical services as well as such services' tasks, and some criteria to devise indicators of quality are considered. The author concludes that the objectives of clinical services should be defined and explicitly stated. This choice determines the evaluation strategy. The author suggests that significant importance should be ascribed to users' interests in the evaluation process, and a case is made that much more emphasis should be given to the evaluation of care as opposed to the traditionally overvalued concept of cure.
Keywords : Evaluation; Quality; User Satisfaction.