Patient-Reported Outcome Measure (PROMs) capture a person’s perception of their own health through questionnaires. They enable patients to report on their quality of life, daily functioning, symptoms, and other aspects of their health and well-being.
Responses to PROMs questions help hospitals and healthcare services provide the care that patients need and want. These measure promise to fill a vital gap in our knowledge about outcomes that matter to patients and about whether healthcare interventions actually make a difference to people’s lives.
Using PROMs to improve quality and value
The Commission is undertaking a program of work which aims to support the use of PROMs to drive quality improvement and value in a way that brings patients’ voices and outcomes to the fore. This page provide's a series of reports the Commission has developed investigating the use of PROMs in Australia and in similar health systems internationally. Further work will focus on supporting the uptake of PROMs in Australia through the compilation and dissemination of information on PROMs and by supporting the exchange of information between the early implementers of PROMs.
We conducted 27 in-depth interviews with international and Australian experts. We wanted to learn from their experiences with the implementation of large-scale PROMs initiatives.
Through these expert interviews we gathered rich qualitative information about what experts and stakeholders really think about PROMs, their experiences of practical implementation on a large scale, and what has worked or not worked in other countries. Importantly, we were also able to hear about what Australian stakeholders need and want from the Commission.
Overall, findings from analysis of the interviews reinforced and elaborated on findings from the environment scan and literature review. The interview participants also gave us the benefit of their experiences with successful and failed implementations of PROMs in Australia, the Netherlands, the United States, Canada, Sweden and England.
The current situation in Australia
In Australia, PROMs are an emerging method of assessing the quality of health care. While exciting and innovative work is happening in many places, PROMs are not yet embedded in routine measurement at regional, jurisdictional or national level.
In late 2016, the Commission contracted the University of Wollongong to conduct an environmental scan of the Australian healthcare sector. It gives detail about the current situation in Australia regarding the collection and use of patient-reported outcome measures.
International evidence and best practice
To complement this picture of what is happening in Australia, the Commission also contracted the University of Wollongong to complete a literature review, to learn about how PROMs are used in international health systems similar to Australia’s. The intention was to build up a detailed picture of best practice and to learn from other countries’ experiences.
In particular, we were interested in answering four questions:
- What is the rationale for collecting patient-reported outcome information?
- What mechanisms are used internationally for the routine collection and aggregation of patient-reported outcome information at national or state/province level, and are there particular patient-reported outcome measures and conditions which are more commonly aggregated and reported at this level?
- What are the reported uses of patient-reported outcome information in terms of quality and safety improvement?
- What have been the reported impacts, benefits and challenges of collection of patient-reported outcome information at national or state/province level?