Measuring PROMs in your practice offers you better insights into the effectiveness of the treatments you use, but it also benefits other, less obvious aspects of delivering healthcare.
- Improved clinician-patient relationships. By understanding your patient’s symptoms better, and how it affects their day-to-day life, you can not only suggest patient-centred interventions, but facilitate trust.
- Enhance shared decision making. The new buzz phrase in healthcare! This is where evidence based practice meets individual preferences and risk appetites – all guided by PROMs.
- Identify psychosocial risk factors in a non-confrontational way. Exploring the presence of mental health issues, social stresses or catastrophising beliefs can guide more effective risk factor management. Performing an electronic validated survey is an easy and safe way to get this information. For example, a patient with chronic low back pain, who also has depression, will benefit from measures aimed at their mental health and is probably not a first up candidate for surgical intervention. Likewise, someone with an injury who is identified on OMPQ as having strong fear avoidance beliefs might benefit from more time spent on education and carefully graded return to movement.
- Get additional information. Time pressures mean you might not ask personal or difficult questions that risk opening up the proverbial can of worms. Knowing some of these flags ahead of time allows you to quickly open up the discussion or sensitively store it for later.
- Enhanced work satisfaction. Embedding PROM collection in your practice can improve efficiency and save time. If the information you need to treat the patient is provided ahead of their visit, you do not need to sift through verbal checklists of symptoms and can move on to digging deeper where it matters, addressing areas specifically flagged by the patient’s questionnaire. Running to time whilst simultaneously offering better patient-centred care can improve your own work satisfaction.
- Improve compliance in chronic conditions. Patients may not remember the extent of their past symptoms and functional impairments. Ongoing and regular monitoring of PROMs can encourage your patients to persevere with treatments, eg exercises for tendinopathy, once they can be shown objective evidence of progress.
- Maintain an ongoing therapeutic relationship. Automated invitations to complete PROMs lets you keep in contact with your patients. Many MSK conditions are chronic or take a long time to resolve but by continuing to engage your patients you are reminding them that their progress matters to you. It can also prompt them to reconnect with you.