Today’s healthcare consumers have much higher expectations than ever before. They want and demand quality, personalized care experiences—and if they’re not satisfied, they’re certainly not afraid to jump ship.
In fact, 82 percent of patients said they would switch providers as the result of a bad experience. With this on top of the shift to value-based care, it’s clear that healthcare practices need to do everything they can to deliver quality care and retain their patients. By measuring patient reported outcomes (PROs), providers have the knowledge they need to quickly recognize and act on opportunities to improve the patient experience.
With that said, 47 percent of clinical leaders, 40 percent of executives, and 31 percent of clinicians are unsure if it's worth it to use PRO measures. However, measuring, tracking, and improving patient reported outcomes can actually drive real, meaningful change. Here’s how your practice can improve PROs.
What do patient reported outcomes measure?
The National Quality Forum defines patient reported outcomes as “any report of the status of a patient’s health condition that comes directly from the patient, without interpretation of the patient’s response by a clinician or anyone else.” Patient reported outcomes measure a number of data points, including how a patient feels about:
- A particular treatment
- Overall quality of care
- Functional status
- Symptom severity
- Level of pain
- And much more
PROs provide the missing link in defining a good outcome by capturing quality of life issues that patients care about and which often cause them to seek out care in the first place.
As the adoption of value-based care initiatives continues to rise, PROs will be key in ensuring healthcare practices remain profitable. That said, improving your patient reported outcomes might seem daunting and easier said than done on top of all your other responsibilities. Even though patient-reported outcome measures can seem like a hurdle, the additional data can save health systems and providers time and enable deeper understanding and more personalized care.
The good news is, the following tactics can help you drive significant patient reported outcome improvements:
1. Get buy-in from your team
Getting internal buy-in from your team is a crucial step to improving your patient reported outcomes. Communicate why these metrics are important and the impact they can have on the practice to ensure your team members are on the same page from the start. Then, share a plan to improve PROs and the role each team member will play in doing so.
2. Educate your patients
Another helpful tactic to improve your practice’s PROs is to educate your patients, both on their post-care instructions and on the importance of completing the survey. Walking them through their post-care instructions and survey opportunity will help ensure adherence to care plans and increase the likelihood of receiving a positive PRO.
3. Share PRO data regularly
As you collect data on patient reported outcomes, make it a point to share it with your team so you can pivot based on the results. Sharing the data with your team can lead to better clinical and operational decision-making, not to mention improve care, reduced costs, and patients who are engaged and empowered. Plus, having access to data on reported outcomes can enable you to deliver more personalized care that goes a long way in retaining patients.
4. Utilize automated survey reminders
Your patients are busy, and they’re not very likely to remember to fill out the post-visit survey without a reminder. You can use automated post-visit surveys and reminders to increase the number of responses you receive and mitigate non-participation from patients. This makes the process easier for patients and simple for you to collect feedback and improve your reported outcomes.
Using Technology to Improve Patient Reported Outcomes
With access to the right digital solution, you can streamline internal workflows associated with post- and between-visit surveys and identify ways to improve your patient reported outcomes. Patient Survey is one piece of InteliChart’s Healthy Outcomes platform, a suite of solutions designed to help you improve patient engagement in a number of ways.
Using a solution like Patient Survey allows providers to find out how patients are feeling post-appointment and assess their functional status and adherence by automating the delivery of your PROs. You can automate post-visit surveys following patient visits based on specific criteria of your choosing, such as: diagnosis, pain level, procedure, lab values, functional status, adherence, medication, referral, or whatever you’d like.
You can essentially customize any survey you’d like and send them based on targeted populations you define. On top of that, you can set up automated events that occur based on patients’ survey responses. For example, if a patient expresses low functional status, another event like an automated call or text can be triggered to work toward improving outcomes. Schedule a demo of the Healthy Outcomes patient engagement platform to see the solutions (and the benefits they provide) in action.