The Hospital for Special Surgery has a unique interest in knowing how patients feel.
Most patients go to the New York City-based orthopedics provider for elective procedures to ease the pain and discomfort in their joints. But to truly know if patients are feeling better after a surgery, the hospital can't rely only on routine quality metrics. That's where collecting data on patient-reported outcome measures can help.
"We need to go beyond just measuring complications and getting at whether patients got better," said Dr. Catherine MacLean, chief value medical officer at the hospital. "With patient-reported outcomes, we can measure not just the pain but the quality of life."
To collect patient-reported outcomes, the hospital relies in part on its nursing staff. All patients receive a phone call from a nurse before a procedure to go over important information and to answer questions. In April, nurses also began asking patients 10 questions from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System, or Promis, a survey about the patient's quality of life and ability to function. Questions are related to the patient's social support system as well as pain intensity and sleep behavior.
Those responses are logged into the patient's electronic health record.