How do you make sure your patients are not only healthy but satisfied with their treatment?
That was the overarching question driving the second meeting of participants in a learning collaborative that is part of the Patient-Reported Outcomes in Primary Care–New York (PROPC–NY) initiative. A project of UHF's Quality Institute, PROPC–NY, supported by a $300,000 grant from the Engelberg Foundation, aims to better capture how patients experience and evaluate their own health care, in order to improve care planning and its impact.
UHF provided $150,000 in grants to the Institute for Family Health, Montefiore Health System, and Northwell Health to participate in the 18-month learning collaborative, designed to help advance the use of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures, or ROMs—essentially patients' views of their health status. At this first meeting of the collaborative, some 30 health care providers, administrators, and staff from the grantees came together with experts in the field to discuss in depth how better to achieve these goals.
Glyn Elwyn, professor and senior scientist at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, kicked off the day by speaking about the need for better measurements of patient experience in the clinical setting. Most patients, he noted, worry about symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, or anxiety, but clinicians often proceed with tests and procedures without going deeper into those concerns. “We need tools for structuring a conversation to get at patient's goals and priorities.” Elwyn acknowledged that it's a tall and complex order to develop such tools, but of critical importance. His work focuses on fast and frugal methods to elicit this kind of information.
Erin Giovannetti, senior research scientist at the National Committee for Quality Assurance, discussed ways to improve the process of setting patients' goals, which are often far different than their doctors assume. Measurement and goal-setting tools can be useful in getting providers and patients to start from the same place, create realistic expectations, and craft an action plan together, she said.
Throughout the day attendees participated in simulations of patient-provider conversations, and broke into smaller groups to discuss what they were learning. The PROPC–NY teams also presented updates on the projects they are pursuing through the initiative.
At the end of the meeting, participants were asked “What does patient-reported outcomes mean to you?” in five words or less. Here are some of their answers: