Patient-Reported Data: An Important Element of Clinical Performance Measurement

Man using a tablet in a living room

Although healthcare organizations today widely recognize the importance of patient feedback, they have largely focused on ‘lumpy’ medical record documentation that collects data only during healthcare encounters. Patient-reported outcome data enables a more longitudinal picture of health by continuing documentation beyond a hospital discharge, between office visits and to the next level of care.

A recent Medical Group Management Association survey found that although 90% of respondents offer patient portals, only 43% say those portals accept ‘patient-generated health data for clinician review.’* Yet a NEJM Catalyst case study reported that physician ratings improved when they discussed PROs during the patient visit.** As with physician performance, merely collecting data is far from sufficient for driving value.

Leading organizations are using patient-sourced data to drive stronger engagement between providers and patients, inform care plans, adjust medications and improve both outcomes and quality of life for patients. Patient-sourced data offers a ‘double’ value proposition by lessening the burden on providers to collect/enter data while improving patients’ engagement and satisfaction with their treatment plans and health.

Engage Patients in their Health: Beyond the Clinical Setting

One of the key factors to delivering high value healthcare is effectively engaging patients in their health – beyond and outside of the exam room. Research shows effective patient engagement improves outcomes and patient satisfaction, which are both key measures of the value of care delivered.

The following best practices will enhance provider groups’ and health systems’ ability to engage physicians in performance management and include the patient perspective in informing the full picture of quality.

1. Encourage patient participation by using two-way information exchange
Many of the tools that providers offer patients are cumbersome, confusing and hard to use, or of limited value, which can limit patients’ willingness to engage. Patients conditioned to the ease of use and robust features of modern apps and social networks have high expectations for an intuitive, interactive user experience, and won’t be satisfied with static, one-way engagement tools.

2. Demonstrate the value of patient-sourced data to physicians
One challenge in collecting and using patient-sourced data is convincing physicians of its validity and utility. With so many requirements in today’s payment landscape, physicians may view the collection of patient data as one more burden that does not help them drive clinical improvements. What they may not recognize is that patient-sourced data can actually cut the amount of data they and their staff have to enter during the patient visit. That frees them up to spend more time with the patient on joint problem-solving.

3. Tie patient-sourced data back to performance
To deliver true value, patient-sourced data must be tied back to performance. Provider groups and health systems have traditionally measured their performance by clinical and operational measures such as morbidity, mortality, readmission rates, length of stay, OR time, or recovery time. Supplementing this limited snapshot with data about how well a patient regained the ability to do daily activities or go back to work, how much pain they had, or what problems they encountered after discharge, creates a much richer understanding of the quality and efficacy of their care.

Align Performance Management for High-Value Healthcare

Check out our latest whitepaper for a more in-depth look at how to establish a performance management approach that drives change. You will learn strategies help you reap the benefits of delivering high-value healthcare such as identifying and implementing ‘best practices’ that reduce cost and improve patient outcomes, and driving higher margins from alternative payment models, such as Bundled Payments for Care Improvement-Advanced (BPCI-A).

*Sorondo, Barbara, Amy Allen, Samreen Fathima, Janet Bayleran, and Iyad Sabbagh. “Patient Portal as a Tool for Enhancing Patient Experience and Improving Quality of Care in Primary Care Practices.” EGEMs (Generating Evidence & Methods to Improve Patient Outcomes)4, no. 1 (2017): 31.

** NEJM Catalyst, UPMC, Case study, June 2018.