Patient-Reported Outcome Measures – an International Comparison
Healthcare quality is predominantly assessed using clinical or process indicators such as blood pressure or mortality rates, with the patient perspective often missing. Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) have been developed to measure a patient’s subjectively perceived health status in an objective manner. PROMs have generated wide stakeholder interest globally, and several countries have implemented PROMs into their health systems to different degrees. To identify trends and common themes in introducing PROMs as well as success strategies for its implementation, this report looks at ten countries that have shown significant activity related to PROMs.
Overall, similar challenges were faced by those trying to implement PROMs in daily clinical practice and on a wider scale. Firstly, the selection of PROMs questionnaires and their patient focus, usability and comparability. Secondly, the varying perception of the value of and benefit from PROMs among stakeholders, particularly on the clinical side. Thirdly, high barriers to data collection and analysis due to lacking IT and digital health infrastructures and/or integration as well as data privacy regulations. Fourthly, lacking guidance, standardization and systematic best practice dentification at a regional or national level; and lastly lacking political support and cooperation between different levels of government and providers.
How country health systems and their stakeholders handled these challenges and the subsequent progress achieved in each country allows identification of the following six success factors: 1. level of patient focus, 2. existence of clinical champions, 3. standardization efforts, 4. IT infrastructure, 5. incentives, and 6. political will.