Beyond HCAHPS, Patient Surveys Dig Into Functional Outcomes
The final rule is expected to provide more detail on which survey tools a provider might use to attest to their collection of such data by way of electronic health record (EHR) usage, and to specify how they will assure that the process is sound.
The Affordable Care Act also wants the use of measures that evaluate "health outcomes and functional status of patients" and "functional status improvement" to be part of the conversation, mentioning those phrases several times.
Even the National Institutes of Health is getting into the act to refine a non-proprietary, but very detailed survey tool it developed. It's called Promis (Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System), and is now being tested by 13 academic medical centers. The initial idea for the survey was evaluate success or failure of a drug or procedure in clinical trials, from the patients' perspective. But the survey's use in other settings is being scrutinized now as well.
The decision tree demo, which may be viewed on the Promis website, uses hundreds of questions that guide the responder to an appropriate next question level, specific illness, or health status, whether they're a young and super-fit triathelete or an 85-year-old patient whose mobility depends on a wheelchair. Try clicking on "try a demonstration of the PROMIS CAT," and then "physical function" first, just to get an idea of how it works.
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