Appeal for outcome stats

Robin Stride

Robin Stride reports from market analysts’ LaingBuisson’s annual conference at the Royal Society of Medicine, London.

Private hospitals have been encouraged to work more with their consultants to develop the benefits of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS).

The doctor chairman of the Private Hospital Information Network (PHIN) expressed optimism at the potential for the tool to be widely taken up.

But he said it would be difficult and progress over the last few years had not been good. 

Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen

Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen warned: ‘If it’s searching for bad apples, you are lost.’ PROMS were about improving learning and quality, and finding out what the top people did to get their results.

Trying to get everybody across the private healthcare sector on board was always going to be difficult, but it was important to build a consensus of what was really important, he said.

A recurring summit theme had been the importance of outcomes, and PHIN was happy to help move things forward, but it had to be done at hospital and consultant level.

HCA chief medical officer Dr Cliff Bucknall said it was widely thought the PROMS’s beneficiary was the patient. But the patient had not been involved or educated as to what was going to be measured. 

He called for meaningful measures. Patients might be told they were part of a programme looking at the five-year outcome of doing hips – but the patient would want to know at six months, so there needed to be feedback much earlier. 

Patients needed help to educate providers about: ‘What does good look like?’, he said.