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patient outcomes to guide commissioning

A report explores the potential for commissioners using patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs).

Getting the most out of PROMs, published by The King's Fund and the Office of Health Economics, examines how PCTs can strengthen their commissioning by using PROMs to assess value for money. It also shows how clinical teams can benchmark and improve their performance.

John Appleby, chief economist at The King's Fund and one of the report's authors, said: ‘For the first time we have patients' own assessments of their health before and after treatment – and by implication the quality of care they received from the NHS. It goes way beyond asking about satisfaction or experience and gets to the heart of what the NHS is in business to do.'

‘PROMs have been used for years in clinical trials and most recently by Bupa to evaluate quality of care. However, if PROMs are really going to work within our health service, NHS leaders must start to engage both staff and patients in understanding and acting on the results of these new data.'

The report also provides an overview of the way in which PROMs data might be used to inform patient choice and help people decide what treatment is best for them and where to receive it.

Nancy Devlin, director of research at the Office of Health Economics, said: ‘The NHS will be the first health care system in the world to measure what it produces in terms of health, rather than in terms of the production of health care. The intention is that, in addition to clinical measures of outcome, PROMs will enable patient perspectives to be taken into account in key aspects of the NHS.'

To download the report go to the King's Fund website.