Bundled-payment initiatives like the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) program are creating a greater focus on Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs). While CJR primarily uses them to measure quality of care and performance of healthcare providers, PROs have long been a valuable tool to help guide clinical decision making, enhance communication with patients and support quality initiatives.
One way to maximize the value of PROs is to integrate their collection into an overall engagement and outreach plan, which can help boost patients’ likelihood to respond by reinforcing their importance and providing a consistent and cohesive experience. Comprehensive systems that enable tracking and automated follow-ups can help ensure patients complete the survey.
Regardless of the specific PRO collection tool or the goal of the initiatives, a thoughtful approach is required to achieve success. To be effective, a PRO strategy should:
- Allow for seamless integration into the workflow, while being easy to use for both the patient and the provider.
- Accommodate real-world situations, such as last minute scheduling changes, so patients aren’t receiving surveys at inappropriate times.
- Enable data collection outside the clinical care setting, as patients are more likely to provide accurate responses when they are in a less stressful environment.
- Allow for multiple delivery and follow-up methods, including email and phone outreach, which can allow providers to gather insights from a broader range of patients. For example, collecting responses from patients with the most successful outcomes may be difficult to capture with office-based PROs, since these patients may be less likely to return for follow-up visits compared to those who have persistent pain or complications.
- Track and report data directly to the EMR in real time, so insights are readily available at the point-of-care, which helps inform proper care plans and guide decision making. This can help “connect the dots” throughout the care continuum.
Most healthcare providers know PROs are all about data collection, and capturing and reporting the data is important for CMS requirements. However, it’s important to also recognize the broader opportunities the right PRO strategy can provide. In today’s consumer-centric environment, people expect and demand experiences that are personalized and responsive to their needs. Patients should feel the information they are providing is being used to enhance their care and deepen their relationship with their provider.
PRO data can be a particularly powerful tool to connect and engage patients at multiple touch points through their health care journey by providing information and tools that are specific and relevant to them. When integrated into a dynamic and responsive platform, PRO data can be used to inform and personalize outreach, education and engagement programs. For example, if a patient is experiencing a significant amount of pain, it makes sense to sense for their healthcare provider to send a pain management program tailored to the patient’s needs. The same program would not be relevant or useful for a person with the same condition who has indicated they do not have pain. By leveraging PRO data properly, providers can extend their reach and offer personalized outreach to increase the quality of care.
In addition, when data collection is seamlessly integrated into the workflow and readily available to the provider at the point of care, the insights can also be used to enable more informed and effective conversation with their patients.
Emmi works with hospitals and health systems to help them maximize their PRO strategy and connect with patients beyond the clinical care setting. To learn more, visit our website or read the news release that describes how we are working with one health system to support their PRO strategy and engage patients throughout episodes of care.