July 6, 2021

A Guide to Collecting High-Quality Patient-Reported Outcomes

graphic of force dashboard explaining the effectiveness of virtual pt in orthopedics

By Madi Ballou
Throughout the orthopedic healthcare system, patients are becoming increasingly more interactive with their care team and expect personalized interaction, in a convenient format. In this digital age, healthcare has turned to digital solutions to provide a higher level of care. For providers, receiving full reimbursement for orthopedic procedures requires complete data collection, reporting, and submission, which is costly and time-consuming when done manually and only during inpatient visits. In addition, ASCs frequently struggle to meet these requirements while functioning with extremely lean teams. As PROMs have quickly become a mandatory part of value-based care equation, it is essential for providers to collect high-quality patient reported outcomes efficiently and effectively. Here is a short, yet strategic guide to collecting high-quality PROMs:

1. Collect data points that matter to the payer.

In 2017, the CMMI passed the bundled payment programs and began to compare quality of hospital care using traditional measures of readmission, complication rates, as well as PROMs collected pre- and post-op. Certain private payers now require PROMs as a prerequisite to even participate in said value-based payment programs. It's important to note that these data points are most meaningful when integrated with clinical data sets. Here are data points that we recommend collecting throughout an episode:
  • Demographics
  • Quality of life
  • Physical function
  • Patient engagement & satisfaction
  • Discrete clinical data points (i.e. pain, ROM, steps, temperature, etc.)

2. Collect data points routinely throughout the episode of care.

The Force team recently attended the DOCSF 2021 event, and one of the most pressing topics covered was that without a tool to collect mass amounts of data within a health system, the task to collect such an enormous conglomeration of information throughout a lifespan of each episode in an organized-fashion is nearly impossible, especially as the demand for proving value increases. Digital‌ ‌tools‌ ‌that‌ ‌have the ability to pave ‌a‌ ‌calculated,‌ ‌yet‌ ‌personalized‌ ‌pathway‌ ‌for‌ ‌collecting‌ ‌discrete‌ ‌data‌ ‌points‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌future‌ ‌of‌ ‌PROMs‌. ‌Platforms like Force also simplify ‌decisions to make intentional,‌ ‌data-backed‌ ‌improvements‌,‌ ‌with‌ ‌respect‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌standard‌ ‌of‌ ‌care‌ ‌your‌ ‌organization‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌able‌ ‌to‌ ‌deliver.‌ Becker’s ASC Review released in interview with Dr. Bus Tarbox from Columbia (Mo.) Orthopedic Group and how they leveraged digital engagement to improve patient outcomes. Dr. Bus Tarbox explains how patients receive emails and fill out surveys over the course of the next one or two years at regular intervals that his team set up based on their procedure.

3. Automate the collection, storing, and distribution process.

Patients prefer the convenience of a digital platform, and providers need a solution that saves time. Force is a PROMs focused-platform that embeds collection into the patient experience within the platform and will customize based on any forms you might wish to collect (ie: HOOS Jr, KOOS Jr, PROMIS, VR-12, etc.). If your organization hasn’t adopted a digital platform, you must ask yourself, “How will we prepare for the Joint Commission’s new Advanced Certification in Spinal Surgery before July 2021?” By scaling the patient experience with automated touch points and clinically-validated care pathways, Force immediately lightens the work load of FTEs and allocates time to the patients in recovery. To entirely automate the process, our platform then automatically submits that data directly to AAOS via secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) on behalf of your organization on a frequent and recurring basis. By providing questionnaires at opportune times and in an easily accessible fashion, we have been able to drastically improve data collection rates. Simply put, successfully collecting and storing PROMs data leads to evidence-based improvement. Interested in how Force can integrate into your system? Schedule a demo today.