Patient reported outcome measure is a process of collecting data which is based on the effectiveness of care delivered to NHS patients. The questionnaires are designed to help the NHS deliver a quality standard of care to their patients whilst giving themselves an insight. The PROM’s project covers four common elective surgical procedures such as groin hernia operations, hip replacement surgery, knee replacement surgery and varicose vein operations since April 2009. kf-logo2

Working as an independent charity, the King Fund work together with the NHS and health care professionals in order to ensure patient care is at the heart of all decisions. The PROM’S conference allowed members within the industry to gain a clear understanding of what research is being carried out around PROM’s and how effective they are.

Whilst at the Conference, many different aspects of PROM’s became apparent. Although some studies showed the use of PROM’s was effective in finding how successful the treatment and care of the patient is, the value of where the patient goes does not paint a very vivid picture. As Nils Gutacker and his team from the university of York found discovered that a hospital cannot be measured through PROM’s for the quality of care provided as patients are more likely to choose hospitals which are convenient to them rather than looking at the PROM’s and deciding through that. Therefore this can indicate that PROM’s does not guarantee a true representation of quality of care. Rather that it shows a geographical distance of where patient footfall is and what choice of hospital they choose. Therefore PROMS does not promote accuracy for patients in terms of quality.

When taking other factors into consideration, it becomes apparent that it is important to take the consideration of the population in as a whole. As two people may undergo the same type of surgery, the way in which they recover can be very different to one another just as their lifestyle is. Professor John Browne and his team from University College Cork found that the PROM’s were designed without the patients in mind. They believe that the questions that are asked do not generate a true representation of how the patients feel. There answer to the problem is Individual Patient reported outcome measure (iPROMS). This is thought to ask questions which are designed with the patient in mind in order to give, what is assumed to be an accurate measure of the patient. Although this sounds like a very interesting concept, it can be very hard to measure a quality of life. One of the main criticisms of measuring in this way is that it loses face value, which then means the value of data is interoperated as not being very serious.

Overall the conference allowed industry knowledge to be shared and discussed, allowing faults and question to come through. However there was also some reason for concerns. Although the introduction of PROMS for the four surgical procedures have been put in place and have been in place since 2009, the utility of the forms do not seem to be valid enough in order to give a true representation of their purpose. Form a DCC point of view, the future for PROM’s seem to require an immense amount of work in order to gain the right amount of information to help and better patient care. On many occasions the data that is used in research can be questionable. Where has the data come from and how the researchers validate it in comparison to their research? PROM’s also can not indicate the true work of a specific clinician just as a hospital as there are many other aspects to take into consideration. With all this mind, DCC found that PROM’s can work and will work with more application and attention to questions and details of situations.