The Background and Scope of PROMs
What are PROMs?
PROMs is an acronym for Patient Reported Outcome Measures, which are a way for the NHS to gather information from patients on how they perceive the effectiveness of the care they have been given. The purpose of PROMs is to add to the abundance of currently available data in regards to the quality of care and services delivered to patients funded by the NHS in England.
In the PROMs programme, patients undergoing four specific types of surgery are asked to complete a pre and post-surgery questionnaire. Those surgeries include hip and knee replacement surgeries, groin hernia operations and surgeries on varicose veins. All four are elective surgeries and the questionnaire is also elective.
Who delivers the PROMs programme?
The NHS is responsible for the coordination of PROMs but several organisations deliver the programme to patients. These include the hospital trusts that are performing the four surgical procedures observed through PROMs as well as the Health and Social Care Information Centre and other contractors.
Since April of 2009, PROMs have been collected on a national level. In April 2010, the first analysis of data (pre-operative) was released and considered to be an experimental statistic. After that, updates were released monthly. The post-op analysis didn’t get released initially until September 2010. Here again, this was considered experimental statistics. As of August 2011, data collected through PROMs was then compared by financial yearly analyses.
How are patients involved in PROMs?
When collecting patient input, all patients in the NHS who are about to have knee replacements, hip replacements, surgery on groin hernias and those undergoing surgery on varicose veins are asked to fill out the PROMs questionnaire.
The questionnaire designed by the NHS asks about the quality of their life and their general state of health prior to undergoing surgery. After the operation they are once again asked to complete the questionnaire but this time the NHS wants to know their feelings on how effective the surgery was and again about the general state of their health. The intended purpose is to provide statistical measurements for the NHS to analyse in order to make improvements in the quality of care given to patients.
Upon arrival at hospital, you will be given the short elective questionnaire to complete prior to being operated on. If you complete this questionnaire, you are in effect giving the NHS consent to hold the information you have provided.
Dataset of PROMs Includes:
- Patient identification – not to be widely released, only for purposes of linkage
- Patient reported status of health specific to their condition
- Patient reported generic measurements
- Other questions regarding patients’ health as they see it, and about any conditions that were pre-existing, for example diabetes or arthritis
How is PROMs data used?
The data collected on a national level is released monthly along with other sets of statistical data being released quarterly. Until the final publication of annual data, everything is considered to be provisional.
Data gathered by PROMs after surgery is no sooner than 3 months for varicose vein and groin hernia operations and no sooner than 6 months for the remaining two replacement surgeries.
In order to better determine the outcome of surgeries as they are seen by patients themselves, the data helps the NHS discover the impact of these elective surgeries on the patients’ ability to function and symptoms they report post-op.