PROMs: What do patients need to know about Clinical Outcomes?
PROMs are questionnaires filled in by patients receiving surgery or hip or knee replacements. It is a way for hospitals to find out about a patient’s quality of life and their health before their operation, and to then find out about their health afterwards. This can then allow hospitals to improve the healthcare that they provide.
Before an operation, patients are asked to fill in a questionnaire which gives consent to the information provided being obtained by the hospital. Any questions that a patient has about PROMs can be put to the hospital where they are receiving treatment. In addition, if you do not want to take part in the PROMs programme you are not obliged to fill out the questionnaires. You also have up until the data is analysed to remove your personal details if you do change your mind.
There is also no need to worry about the privacy of your details as all data is held in line with the Data Protection Act, and is only for the use of service evaluation and quality of care measurement, so that hospitals can continue to improve their healthcare services to patients. Your personal details will be held for 2 years, before your permission must be sought for it to be to held past this length of time or for your details to be used for something else.
The details that you provide must be yours, and so if you do need assistance filling out your questionnaire you must ensure that the other person provides information and views that are yours. You can also reach out to the patient helpline, the number is provided on the questionnaire, who will be happy to help you understand the questionnaire by providing support over the phone; this includes translation services.
Patients, including private, that are treated at NHS hospitals will record their PROMs using their unique NHS number. The Health and Social Care Information’s (HSCIC) Hospital Episode System (HES) holds details of all NHS hospital admissions, and so when the information is provided by the patient, the differences in the reported outcomes of treatments can be identified. This data that is already held by the HES already includes a patient’s medical history, which means the patient does not need to provide information that is already in the system.
By monitoring the data collected and looking at the effectiveness of the treatments, as provided by patients, improvements can be made to the way healthcare services provide a quality of care.