Taking Orthopaedics to the PROMs

Kevin J. Bozic, MD, MBA

The article “Risk Stratification, Outcome Assessment, and Online Transparency” makes important points about the increased interest by consumers, payors, policymakers, and healthcare providers in assessing provider performance. Provider performance can be measured using a variety of metrics, including structural measures (adoption of electronic health records), process measures (implementation of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines), efficiency measures (utilization of resources and cost of care), and patient experience measures. However, the most direct assessment of the effectiveness of an intervention is patient outcomes.

The most important outcomes to orthopaedic patients is reduction in pain and improvement in quality of life and function. These outcomes are best measured through Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs), which, as the authors note, are currently logistically difficult to assess. However, the orthopaedic profession, with help from the AAOS and others, is making great strides in helping orthopaedic surgeons measure patient-reported outcomes.

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