Quality & Patient Safety

Amid technological and cultural barriers, patient-reported outcomes poised to make a splash

Patient Safety Monitor, November 1, 2016

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A quality measurement that focuses on patient symptoms and overall quality of life is poised to take on a greater role in patient safety. In some parts of the country, it already has.

Patient reported outcomes (PRO)?defined by the National Quality Forum (NQF) 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"?have been generally underutilized by the healthcare industry. According to a survey published by HealthCatalyst in August, fewer than two in 10 hospitals use PROs even though the measurement can provide a new and valuable perspective into each patient's condition and, when adequately tracked, offer a more detailed look at the potential for quality improvement within specific areas of care.

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