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Patient-reported outcomes measures (PROMs) are essential for clinicians who want to assess whether their healthcare practices improve their patients’ wellbeing.
Although PROMs are often compared to process measures or patient experience measures, they aren’t used to capture provider productivity, standard adherence, or communication. Instead, PROMs will ask questions about a patient’s mood or pain levels after treatment.
Why PROMs Helps Improve Health Outcomes
For the most part, clinicians would assess healthcare outcomes by looking at hard data. Avoidable readmission, hospital-acquired infections, and mortality are commonly used to determine a health system’s performance, but blood pressure changes may also be used.
However, most clinicians can only take a snapshot of someone’s health. Perhaps a patient’s blood pressure was normal that day or their quality of life hasn’t reduced to the point they can’t work. That still doesn’t mean the patient is healthy, feeling well, or not getting worse.
Patients’ views aren’t sought after beyond clinical trials, but the most accurate gauge of a health system’s performance is curability, or, failing that, livability ratings with chronic illnesses.
How to Implement PROMs Data For Patients
Soon, patient-reported measures will play a large role in determining the effectiveness of treatments. Patients want to feel they’re being cared for, and that isn’t difficult to do if:
1. Healthcare Providers Focus on the Patient
Quality of care should be your top priority, and PROMs help capture this data seamlessly without unnecessary overhead. Patients will feel like an integral part of the care team, not an outsider, contributing to their own health-related decision-making process.
2. Healthcare Providers Use Tools/Software with Good UI
Patients with good outcomes love their doctors, but you can only benefit your patients by enhancing their user experience. Patient Reported Outcomes (PROMs) apps, like Outcome MD, allow patients to do a quick 3-4 minute baseline and follow-up assessment to track progress.
3. Healthcare Providers Follow ICHOM Standards
The nonprofit organization ICHOM is attempting to create a defined global Standard Set of outcome measures that matter most to patients. While there are no industry standards specific to PROMs as of writing, ICHOM can still help you streamline your data collection.
4. Healthcare Providers Discuss Patient Benefits
If healthcare providers aren’t diligent when discussing the benefits PROMs provide to the patient, receiving results won’t be easy. If patients take 3-4 minutes of their time each week discussing their quality of care, they’ll receive better health outcomes faster.
5. Healthcare Providers Understand the Monetary Benefits
Due to massive overheads, all industries find it difficult to adjust to different technologies or practices, even if they’ll spend less over time. With PROMs, you’ll only have to implement a small upfront cost before seeing an increase in productivity, efficiency, and ROI.
6. Healthcare Providers Use PROMs Data Effectively
Data is incredibly important for any industry, but it’s more of a necessity in health care. Without data, doctors won’t know how to best help their patients, leading to unnecessary death or suffering. When used effectively, PROMs can reduce adverse health outcomes worldwide.
7. Healthcare Providers Use Evidence-Based Decision Making
There’s nothing more frustrating to a patient than being told they’re fine when they really aren’t. Several diseases, physical and mental, are difficult to test or diagnose without a bit of trial and error. PROMs give providers the ability to use evidence-based treatments based on data.
8. Healthcare Providers Ask Their Patients to Reflect
PROMs are proven to support clinician-patient communication and patient care, but patients should be encouraged to reflect on their health for better results. When done right, PROMs allow patients to reflect on their conditions and establish a better doctor-patient relationship.