Provider Blogs

The Importance of Patient-Reported Outcomes Measures

Nurse with two patients filling out forms at a hospital reception

Taking a patient-centered approach to care requires listening to patients, but what does that look like in practice?

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) in healthcare. Many hospitals and physician practices ask patients to complete short questionnaires to assess their health status, functional ability and quality of life.

These organizations recognize how PROMs can facilitate value-based care and provide insights into the patient experience. But how are these PROMs collected and stored? And will providers interpret the data and shift their approaches accordingly?

Shifting to a Patient-First Mindset

Despite their potential benefits, historically, there’s been a lack of widespread routine collection of PROMs. Hospitals focused on tackling procedure-oriented care, which captures traditional metrics (medication dependency, laboratory measures, hospital admissions). Recently, however, there’s been an increasing interest in collecting PROMs concomitantly with the movement toward patient-centered and value-based care. Both of these require more focus on metrics like quality of life, well-being and ease of anxiety. 

Health networks moving toward more patient-centered care should consider implementing a PROMs collection system. It can help them better identify areas where patients need additional support or resources, and strive for better outcomes and a more positive patient experience.

Radiology presents a unique challenge, however. Outcomes are not usually tied to experience, but rather measured with more objective metrics, such as accuracy, image quality and turnaround times. But as providers shift to more patient-centric care, patient feedback is becoming a high priority.

Can Patient Access to Health Records Improve PROMs?

If integrated properly, giving patients easy access to their health information can transform patients’ perceptions of their care. According to PocketHealth’s recent Patient Pulse Survey Report, 85% of patients reported an improvement in their healthcare experience after gaining access to their imaging records and reports. And nearly half of patients felt more in-control of their records.

The Patient Pulse Survey also showed that pairing patients with access to their information gives them a better understanding of their own health and leads to higher levels of patient engagement. These engaged patients would then be in a position to provide better feedback through PROMs.

For patients seeking care, access to imaging reports and the timeliness of those reports can be critical and PocketHealth makes it easier for patients to access their imaging reports in a timely and efficient manner. This can have a positive impact on the patient experience, which goes beyond interactions inside the clinic and encompasses administrative processes that occur between appointments.

A Practical Solution with PocketHealth

However, providers must find a way to collect PROMs in order to fully realize the benefits of this approach. Additionally, tools like PocketHealth can help patients better understand their imaging reports and take an active role in their care, which can further improve the patient experience and outcomes. Ultimately, the goal of value-based care in radiology should be to provide high-quality, patient-centered care that improves outcomes and maximizes patient satisfaction.

Furthermore, there are several tools available to help patients better understand their imaging reports. Radiology reports are oftentimes difficult for patients to understand, and this can be a barrier to effective communication between patients and providers. However, with the availability of tools like PocketHealth Report Reader, patients can get instant definitions of complex medical terms contained in their imaging reports. Patients get the most of this feature when they show up prepared and ready to ask better questions during appointments.

Enabling patients to access their imaging records while referring them to credible resources with more information signals transparency, which goes a long way in earning patients’ trust.  This can help improve patient satisfaction and outcomes by giving patients greater control over their health data and enabling them to participate more fully in their care.

Request a Demo
Access My Records