7 key strategies to leverage patient-reported outcomes for value-based healthcare

Practice Management

The value-based healthcare environment requires providers to report a hefty amount of information. Successful healthcare institutions will leverage patient-reported outcomes to meet these rigorous reporting metrics. 

Michael Barr, vice president of London, Ontario, Canada-based Ortech Systems, shared his company's observations of the industry's patient-reported outcomes practices during a webinar titled, "Implementing Patient-Reported Outcomes to Meet Value-Based Healthcare Reporting Needs." The webinar will be held again on Thursday, Aug. 25, and registration is open. 


"The best time to begin collecting data was 20 years ago. The next best time is today," said Mr. Barr.


Ortech created phiDB, a data registry system that captures intraoperative and implant data so orthopedic practices can establish a robust amount of owned data. Building off this foundational product, Ortech recently introduced phiDB lite, a patient-reported outcome model. The company has worked with more than 200 institutions to develop patient-reported outcome initiatives.


Providers often ask these key questions, emphasizing the challenges of data collection:


  • What data should I collect?
  • How will I get patients to comply and complete surveys?
  • How do I engage surgeons in this practice?
  • Will this impact workflow?
  • How do I leverage data?


Tackling these major obstacles, Mr. Barr offered six strategies for success.


1. Get started already. The key to data collection is getting all hands on-deck. Stakeholders must go beyond compliance and truly "appreciate the value of the data being collected," explains Mr. Barr. Institutions that believe in and respect the data they are collecting will see a successful system, long-term.


2. Follow AAOS' lead. In February 2016, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons issued metrics on patient-reported outcome data across subspecialties. They included guidance on how to optimize time for survey completion and how to use the data, as well as provided standardized metrics. Since a major barrier to getting started is finding consensus among a surgeon group, AAOS' standardized metrics offer a huge helping hand.


"Patient-reported outcome data is here to stay," said Mr. Barr. "It is not a trend - in fact, it’s quite the opposite. It will be a way of life."


3. Engage the surgeons. Data access poses as a major barrier in implementing successful patient-reported outcome practices. Most institutions' current systems aren't advanced enough to offer benchmarking and comparative data. Additionally, data ownership concerns many surgeons. "Surgeons do not want vendors to own and leverage, from a commercial standpoint, their own data," Mr. Barr said.


Data sharing also proves a crucial part of this process, as it allows surgeons to actually use the data to delineate a patient's treatment progress. Sharing data with patients also demonstrates the institution is using survey results to enhance their care.


4. Avoid workflow disruption. Mr. Barr emphasized a patient-reported outcome system must have the ability to interface with an institution's electronic health record, electronic medical record or scheduling system. If a provider has to input the same information twice, the compliance rate will likely fall rapidly.


"An effective patient-reported outcome system must be electronic and provide multiple means for patient engagement," said Mr. Barr.


5. Boosting patient compliance. Technology is not the sole force of patient engagement, explains Mr. Barr. A variety of aspects impact compliance rate:


  • Surgeon engagement 
  • Scheduled reminders
  • Ease of use
  • Optimized data set
  • Completion of survey before surgery, which increases likelihood of future survey completion 
  • Electronic system, allowing for rapid data capture and real time data access


6. Utilizing the data. Enter the data in real time, and ensure your system allows data extraction so you can comply with the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model. View the data as a whole, so you gain a broader understanding of best practices.


"Move away from [collecting data] because you have to do it," said Mr. Barr. "Understand the value of the information from a quality improvement standpoint and from a marketing standpoint."


7. Choosing the best partner. Lastly, Mr. Barr offers key components of a strong data registry system:


  • Web-based data capture and accessibility 
  • Interface with EMR, EHR or scheduling system  
  • Ease of use
  • Secure access


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