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Posted on 07 Nov 2018

What are patient-reported outcomes?

Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) ask patients to assess elements of their own health, quality of life, and functioning. The resulting data can be used to show how healthcare interventions and treatments affect these aspects of a person’s day-to-day life.

When collected systematically, PROMs can generate valuable data on treatment effectiveness, adverse events and variations in healthcare delivery and outcomes from the patients’ perspective, further informing the efforts to improve quality and safety.

The collection of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) is an important step in moving towards a more patient-centred approach to understanding the appropriateness and effectiveness of care.

Evidence on patient-reported outcomes

Insights from PROs data have the potential to reduce unplanned re-admissions and unwarranted clinical variation, while improving appropriateness of care and integrating care to reduce avoidable admissions.

Extensive literature attests to the increasing interest in, and demand for, PROs to inform design (or redesign) and evaluation of healthcare processes. However, there is limited understanding of the processes by which this can be consistently achieved.

Internationally, there are a range of examples of how PROMs are being used – particularly in the Netherlands, UK, Canada, Sweden and USA. In Australia, PROMs are not yet consistently embedded into clinical practice or routine data collections.

VAHI pilot to collect patient-reported outcomes

Targeting zero, recommended that a project be established to collect and report on patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), and that over time PROMs should cover an increasing proportion of all Victorian hospital activity.

VAHI is committed to delivering a pilot PROs approach in 2019 that further develops the evidence base through building on the work started by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2016.

We will give an update on the VAHI PROs pilot approach in early 2019 and will be looking for health services to get involved in the pilot.

VAHI will also work with the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care as they develop a national framework for the development of PROMs.

For more information please contact Paulette Kelly, paulette.kelly@vahi.vic.gov.au.

Page last updated: 07 Nov 2018