For the successful achievement of evidence-based practice, clinicians, managers and purchasers need evidence on whether a particular intervention works and ways to judge the appropriateness of the outcome criteria and measures used. Guidance is needed on what outcome measure to use, especially within routine clinical care settings. Beginning with a reclarification of the difference between a health status and an outcome measure, the paper presents an evaluative checklist for use by clinical audit and research staff to review outcome measures for use in routine care settings. Central features include the user-centredness of the measure, its psychometric properties, feasibility of use and utility. The applicability of the checklist is illustrated for outcome measurement in diabetes and stroke care. A modified form of the checklist is proposed for use by the busy clinician as an aid to the critical review of research papers within the context of evidence-based practice and to aid health care practitioners' choice of which outcome measure(s) to use within routine clinical care.