Healthcare professionals are always looking for effective and safe ways to improve the level of care, comfort and wellbeing of their patients. Whether it’s the most leading-edge gene therapy or hospital beds with a wireless network of sensors designed to reduce decubitus ulcers (bed sores), we all want to find ways to incrementally improve the quality and success of health care.

It is widely recognised that, when patients are actively involved and engaged in their own health situation, the quality of their outcomes is better and the amount of resources can be reduced. They can literally watch where they are going and not fall as often.

Enabled by real-time technology, Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) are getting increasing focus across health systems at all levels of care, conditions and providers. Regulators are keen to get a system-level view of outcomes from the patient perspective. Funders/payers are interested in seeing how outcomes change over time for given procedures and service lines. Managers want to benchmark outcomes across their organisation to identify outliers, and learn from top performers. Finally, clinical teams are looking for ways to enhance decision making for the benefit of their patients.

As mentioned above stakeholders understand and value that involving patients in their care is proven to improve health outcomes and quality of life. However, as health systems transition towards a more value-based healthcare model, they know that the patient view of their own care is key component. In fact, without the patient view, one may agree it would be very hard to calculate the ‘value’ of health service delivery in any meaningful way and therefore make any pertinent decisions for ways to refine and design care models in the future,

“The ultimate measure by which to judge the quality of medical effort is whether it helps patients (and their families) as they see it. Anything done in health care that does not help a patient or family is, by definition, waste, whether or not the professions and their associations traditionally hallow it.”
Donald Berwick

While each healthcare system and provider are evolving at different rates along the value-based healthcare adoption curve, there are many other reasons why organisations are now looking to implement PROMs.

Save Money – there is a plethora of studies that show how a systematic, yet tailored, PROMs solution results in lower readmissions, better medication adherence, and in general better behaviours from patients to support their own health.

“People support a world they helped create”
Dale Carnegie

Better Data – evidence shows that patients will divulge more about their symptoms and quality of life when given the opportunity to talk about them, beyond the face to face consultations with their clinical teams. They feel less inhibited, pressured for time, and more comfortable talking about their own health from the comfort of home, or even in a waiting room.

Real-time Access – whether during treatment or post treatment, clinical teams can better manage a patient’s symptoms and treatment plan if they know how the patient is feeling today.

Proving Value – payers are increasingly examining the effectiveness of different treatment pathways. Providers are using PROMs to show how effective the work has been to support their clinical barometers. Let’s face it, if 1,000 patients tell you that a given treatment has improved their lives, it’s pretty compelling evidence that those treatments should continue.

Cost Effectiveness – vendors are delivering cloud-based solutions that can make PROMs collection and reporting more scalable, and simpler to deploy – avoiding the significant overhead embedded with older, legacy systems that often sit as the backbone to provider’s IT network. Cheaper, digitally-lead modes for capturing feedback are also much more viable now as smartphone adoption becomes omnipresent, particularly amongst the older demographic.

In the past, many PROMs projects have sat in the realm of enthusiastic academics and clinicians. The conditions are now here to take this concept and scale it across your health system – so what are you waiting for?