Readiness for school and work can complement clinical outcomes

In a post on Health Affairs' blog, a group of doctors and public health researchers identify school readiness as an important but overlooked health care quality metric.

Given what is known about health and child development, assessing 5-year olds' school readiness (as well as more standard pediatric metrics such as immunizations) provides a window into the quality of their recent health care.

School readiness also gives long-term insights into health care's contributions to healthier, more productive adults. As IBI pointed out in its report of FMLA use among call center workers, an employer hires a person's entire health history, not just their current health status and their capacity to develop healthier habits in the future.

The Health Affairs authors' emphasis on school readiness as a real world outcome overlaps with IBI's efforts to encourage the inclusion of productivity—such as avoidance of disability absences and stay-at-work/return-to-work indicators—as metrics of care quality. Forthcoming research by one of IBI's Thomas Parry Research Fellows will drive that point home by linking hospital care to workers' earnings and employment outcomes.