Patients' experiences, provider assessment provides greater clinical insight

As patient-centered medical care initiatives continue to take hold in the industry, better documenting patient experiences can offer needed insight for providers, a study published in Health Affairs has found.

Patient-reported information was typically used mostly in research settings and not in day-to-day clinical care, according to the study abstract. That is beginning to change, the study team discovered.

"This provides insights into patients' experiences of symptoms, quality of life and functioning; values and preferences; and goals for healthcare," the team wrote. "Previously embraced in the research realm, patient-reported outcomes have started to play a role in successful shared decision-making, which can enhance the safe and effective delivery of healthcare."

Danielle Lavallee, a research assistant professor at the department of surgery at the University of Washington and the lead author of the study, told Kaiser Health News that finding the best way to document these patient responses is the challenge. "The challenge is that we don't capture [the response] in a way that we can use [like] we do for blood pressure," she said.

Patricia Franklin, a professor of orthopedics and physical rehabilitation at the University of Masschusetts Memorial Medical Center and another of the study's authors, told KHN that a pilot program at the UMass facility is an example of incorporating the patient experience into care. At the hospital's arthritis and joint replacement center, doctors track pain and joint function over time for potential replacement candidates, and use these reports to decide if surgery is the right method for treatment."

In addition to determining the best way to use patient feedback, transitioning into a model of patient-centered care will also require the time to educate patients on the potential benefits, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- read the study abstract
- here's the KHN article

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