In this blog post, we'll briefly explain how PROMs have advantages for patients, as well as their loved ones.

We published a simple yet thorough blog post in September outlining Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) and how we are making progress with them.

Recapping what we said, PROMs are questionnaires filled in by patients that can be used to track their:

  • general quality of life
  • function – for example ability to see clearly, or walk up the stairs
  • level of pain, and
  • health

both before and after treatment. It is then possible to compare, including on a like-for-like basis, the various effects of that treatment.

While some PROMs are very common to a condition or procedure, such as heart surgery, others are highly specific. They can be helpful to patients, doctors, hospitals, insurers and others.

How do you benefit from PROMs as a patient?

Pre-treatment patients, can use PROMs as prompts so you know to ask your consultant about specific aspects of treatment and recovery. It is also an opportunity to improve your own understanding of healthcare terms and the language used.

Many patients consider their choice of clinician, facility and the distance to that facility when deciding on their healthcare. You may also want to look at health impact as represented by PROMs as an important consideration and potential way to decide between healthcare providers.

By using PROMs before treatment – and investigating what effective treatment and high-quality care might look like – you can establish appropriate goals. And ultimately, pre-treatment patients can see the factors that affect your outcomes and impact (how well and quickly you recover) following a recommended treatment plan.

After treatment, you can see how you are doing in relation to your treatment goals and see how you compare to similar people who have had similar operations. You can then recognise any early warning signs and, if necessary, return to care more quickly.

It is worth noting that in studies patients whose PROMs were monitored performed better than those who weren’t.

Over the past five years, PHIN has collected and released data on PROMs to provide patients, consultants, and hospitals with improved data and transparency in the private healthcare sector.

Publishing PROMs in the industry is a powerful way to improve both patient safety and choice.

Read our most recent data release to see the percentage of patients who reported positive health improvement after specific operations, and view a more in-depth document on the benefits of PROMs.

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