A date with PROM (Patient Reported Outcome Measures)

Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) are standardized self-reported questionnaires used to assess a patient’s physical, mental and social well-being. Patients complete a questionnaire that a) measures their perspectives on their general health or b) measures their perspective on their health in relation to a specific illness or disease.

For healthcare providers and the patients they serve, PROMs can be a very effective tool. The use of PROMs not only enhances communication, but it also encourages shared decision-making between patients and providers. In addition, healthcare providers are able to use their patients’ PROM data to drive informed treatment plans, specific to each individual and their unique needs.

Beyond particular patient/provider benefits, aggregated PROM data can be used to assess and compare providers to improve quality of care for all patients seeking healthcare. Measuring patient benefit associated with care can have a massive impact on healthcare policies, by increasing informed decision making and transparency.

Most health systems combine generic and disease specific PROMs in their measurement strategy. However, routine PROMs across an entire health system is yet to be established. To ensure trust and transparency within healthcare, communication with providers, patients and the public is needed and, when used properly, PROMs serve as an excellent tool that helps to achieve that goal.