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Beyond HCAHPS, Patient Surveys Dig Into Functional Outcomes

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 17, 2012

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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3 comments on "Beyond HCAHPS, Patient Surveys Dig Into Functional Outcomes"


abiola olagoke (5/23/2012 at 2:56 PM)
Realising that the patient is the goal of any treatment modality, these measures being put in place are really welcome. Thanks for sharing this. I hope those of us in developing countries get to that point too where we make provider hospitals more responsible to patients and patients can say more about treatment modality outcome

Anthony_Cirillo_32556 (5/21/2012 at 8:33 PM)
Having just returned from the Assisted Living of America's annual conference, resident acuity, partnering with hospitals and positioning the industry as a transitional care provider were hot topics. This is great if providers actually collaborate and cooperate. However, there is still much silo thinking that abounds. Actual quality of life outcomes are important to measure. And outcomes will only be aided by an industry working together. I also look at this laundry list of additional reporting and wonder how providers and particularly front line staff will be able to actually care for patients and chart all of this for the bean-counters, regulators and watchdogs.

Kristin Baird, RN, BSN, MHA (5/17/2012 at 2:00 PM)
Cheryl, Thanks for another great article. This is such an important topic and once more validates the need for more consistent, high quality post-discharge follow up.