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Hospital Takes Step Forward Using Patient-Reported Outcome Data

Posted on December 6, 2017 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare branding and communications expert with more than 25 years of industry experience. and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also worked extensively healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at @ziegerhealth or www.ziegerhealthcare.com.

I don’t usually summarize stories from other publications — I don’t want to bore you! — and I like to offer you a surprise or two. This time, though, I thought you might want to hear about an interesting piece appearing in Modern Healthcare. This item offers some insight into how understanding patient-generated determinants of health could improve outcomes.

The story tells the tale of the Hospital for Special Surgery, an orthopedics provider in New York City which provides elective procedures to treat joint pain and discomfort. According to the MH editor, HSS has begun collecting data on patient-reported outcomes after procedures to see not only how much pain may remain, but also how their quality of life is post-procedure.

This project began by doing a check in with the patient before the procedure, during which nurses went over important information and answered any questions the patient might have. (As readers may know, this is a fairly standard approach to pre-surgical patient communication, so this was something of a warm-up.)

However, things got more interesting a few months later. For its next step, the hospital also began surveying the patients on their state of mind and health prior to the procedure, asking 10 questions drawn from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System, or Promis.

The questions captured not only direct medical concerns such as pain intensity and sleep patterns, but also looked at the patient’s social support system, information few hospitals capture in a formal way at present.

All of the information gathered is being collected and entered into the patient’s electronic health record. After the procedure, the hospital has worked to see that the patients fill out the Promis survey, which it makes available using Epic’s MyChart portal.

Getting to this point wasn’t easy, as IT leaders struggled to integrate the results of the Promis survey into patient EHRs. However, once the work was done, the care team was able to view information across patients, which certainly has the potential to help them improve processes and outcomes over time.

Now, the biggest challenge for HSS is collecting data after the patients leave the hospital. Since kicking off the project in April, HSS has collected 24,000 patient responses to nursing questions, but only 15% of the responses came from patients who submitted them after their procedure. The hospital has seen some success in capturing post-surgical results when doctors push patients to fill out the survey after their care, but overall, the post-surgical response rate has remained low to date.

Regardless, once the hospital improves its methods for collecting post-surgical patient responses, it seems likely that the data will prove useful and important. I hope to see other hospitals take this approach.

Cleveland Clinic Expands Access To EMR Information

Posted on June 12, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare branding and communications expert with more than 25 years of industry experience. and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also worked extensively healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at @ziegerhealth or www.ziegerhealthcare.com.

The Cleveland Clinic is stepping up patients’ access to their medical information by providing secure online access to most of the data stored in their medical files.  The newly-available data will be accessible through the Clinic’s existing patient portal, MyChart, according to EMR Daily News.

Currently, patients who use the Clinic’s MyChart app can view a limited list of data , including their after-visit summary, medications list, allergies, immunization records, preventative care details, laboratory results, and radiology reports. If they want to see any more of their information, they have to get a hard copy of their patient record.

However, the new MyChart EMR offers patients access to just about every type of information doctors can see, including pathology records, x-ray reports, physician notes and lists of current health issues doctors use  to describe a patient’s health status. It will also offer access to recent concerns and known diagnoses.

This marks the most recent of several steps the Clinic to expand patient access to their medical records. Earlier this year, EMR Daily News notes, reports associated with medical images including MRI, CT, ultrasounds, and mammograms were made available online through MyChart. Starting this month, the Clinic will start automatically releasing pathology reports to patients through MyChart, though there will be a delay which gives the patient a chance to have talked to their doctor about the report prior to seeing it.

The EMR system is expected to be fully transparent to the patient sometime next year, Clinic leaders say.

Expect to see a series of announcements of this kind, folks. Increasing healthcare data transparency is clearly on everyone’s agenda, and though leading organizations like the Cleveland Clinic may be at the forefront, what they’re doing is likely to become the standard for hospitals and clinics in the not-so-distant future.