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Patient-Reported Outcomes

Launching a Patient-Reported Outcome (PRO) Program: Where to Start?

February 10, 2022
Kendall Shadley
2-min read

Collecting and quantifying patient-reported outcomes is a vital component to improving quality of care. Using outcomes to inform clinical decision-making and operational intelligence is a recognized opportunity for healthcare institutions nationwide.

However, despite this consensus, there is often little understanding of the complexity behind launching a successful PRO program. Because of this, health leaders commonly ask:

“Do we take the time to build our own outcomes program, or do we work with a third-party vendor?”

Whether an organization is large or small, there are key considerations when debating whether to build a program or buy an existing solution.  

The Challenge of an Internal Program

Launching a PRO program begins with strategy. Identifying the diverse stakeholders that need to be involved, allocating time and resources, and gaining clear understanding of the disparate information technology systems that must coordinated to ensure a top-tier patient experience.

Often, programs fail due to trying to expedite this process or fail simply because achieving the above internally is incredibly complex.

For example, the Mayo Clinic spent $1.5 million over five years to establish an outcomes program… within neurosurgery alone. An enterprise-wide program would be a significantly greater investment.

Investigating Third-Party Solutions

Third-party solutions are often an answer to minimizing the complexity of launching a PRO program. For example, it takes 18-24 months on average to collect the first PROM when building internally on Epic. In comparison, PatientIQ has launched an outcomes program at large integrated health systems in as little as thirteen business days from kickoff to collecting the first patient outcome questionnaire, including an Epic integration, user training, and everything in between.

However, success like this isn’t a guarantee depending upon the third-party solution that is chosen.

Therefore, when considering a solution, healthcare organizations should prioritize two things: expertise in PRO collection and, most importantly, ensuring data collected is actionable.

And that assurance is gained by examining platform functionality.

For example, a PRO and analytics platform provide benchmark PROM scores by provider, diagnosis codes, procedure codes, comorbidities, and risk factors.

What other platform functionality should health leaders consider? And what other factors are there to evaluate when deciding between building internally or partnering with a third-party? Our “Build vs. Buy” white paper has the answers.

Considering building your own PRO program? Read our white paper before you begin.
Read the White Paper
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