by Dr. Puneet Seth
Patient-reported outcome measurements (PROMs) are the most overlooked vital sign of healthcare systems. The terms patient-centered care, patient experience and value-based care are meanwhile thrown around as catch phrases while the underlying concepts have yet to be meaningfully implemented. Indeed, how can physicians effectively provide care without truly understanding the answer to the fundamental question: How is the patient feeling?
Modern healthcare has taken significant strides in collecting what we refer to in medicine as “hard outcomes,” such as length of stay in a hospital, as well as metrics like blood pressure and blood sugar levels. But how do we assess the experience of a person with diabetes who has to poke themselves several times a day or travel to a clinic every 2-3 months? In other words, when a patient is dealing with a chronic condition, what options do they have to improve their health, and what do these options truly amount to in the context of their individual preferences, priorities, and lifestyles?
The notion that patient-reported data is necessary for delivering value-based healthcare is not a new one, but obstacles stand in the way of this crucial data being collected in the first place. As a practicing hospitalist and health outcomes researcher, I’ve seen the barriers to obtaining this data first-hand. As a digital health technologist, I’ve also been working towards a solution. The following key concepts will enable us to collect patient-reported outcomes (PROs) data more effectively:
Collecting meaningful, structured data in an efficient and non-intrusive way will not only result in a holistic picture of a person’s health, but also aid providers in developing a more effective and comprehensive care plan. Accomplishing this on a wide scale requires a major shift across the board in healthcare. For now, we can start with the baby steps.
Sign up for a free trial of InputHealth’s Outcomes module, and read about how InputHealth is streamlining patient-reported outcomes at the point of care with the Mayo Clinic in our submission to the Harvard Business School-Harvard Medical School-hosted Health Acceleration Challenge. If you’d like to provide feedback, please scroll to the bottom of the page to leave your comment or question.