Three fundamental goals should stand out when starting a patient-reported outcomes (PRO) program. First, you are determined to evaluate care by including outcomes based on the patient’s viewpoint along with other clinical measures. Longitudinally tracking patient assessment of pain and function can provide insights into the effectiveness of hip and knee arthroplasty across a much broader patient population than the relatively small number of patients that suffer implant failures and require surgery.
Second, you are determined to enable your institution’s provision of PRO data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other payers as they continue defining quality measures for value-based reimbursement. For example, CMS defines PRO requirements within their Medicare reimbursement programs such as Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). MIPS recently replaced the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). The demand for PRO data by regulators, payers, accreditors, and professional organizations has accelerated, as patient care associated with PRO programs has demonstrated improvement. Better technology for data capture has also accelerated demand.
Finally, you are determined to use comparative data and PRO benchmarking to provide evidence for needed quality improvement work at both the hospital and surgeon level. National Registry data is often used to enable this effort.
If these goals are important to your institution, the five steps shared below will help you launch a successful PRO program: