Patient Reported Outcome Measures are a Stethoscope for Patient History
Patient reported outcome measures are being used more and more frequently. In rehabilitation, I have a feeling the main reason the majority initially begin using a measure is to be compliant with regulations. I mean, we need to report functional limitations, so the easy button is to incorporate patient reported outcome measures.
I took time to read the below perspective published in Annals of Surgery. Although I don't agree with a stethoscope analogy, I definitely agree that patient reported outcome measures can be used to drive clinical decision making. FOTO has really led in the outcome world by tackling two things: 1) making each patient's report easily understood by the clinician so that clinical decisions may be more easily determined and 2) immediately sharing results with the patient who just completed the patient reported outcome measure.
What are patient seeking when they enter the rehabilitation world? I have a feeling, most want to improve either in function or in reducing pain level. Patient reported outcome measures are far more than a score. The score translates into a picture of their functional life. I can be immediately transported into a glimpse of what it is like to live in their shoes. I can see that when they begin services how much different they are from individuals who are similar. And, due to a large database, I can even learn how much improvement is typical and what that means in how function will change.
I use the functional limitation portion of the report only for patients who have insurance requirements to report functional limitation. I really don't see value in the functional limitation codes and modifiers. If I only used that portion of the report, I know that I would be missing a great opportunity to converse with the the patient about what matters to them most.
Below you will find a quick view of the abstract.
Patient-reported Outcome Measures: A Stethoscope for the Patient History.