Patient reported measures (PRMs), including patient-reported outcomes, play a critical role in dialysis care. The usage of PRMs is extensive in dialysis clinics. While there are excellent PRMs to choose from, and their implementation as part of quality improvement and performance monitoring is extensive, there are still methodological challenges to be addressed. In this paper, we identify key methodological concerns around use of PRMs in dialysis centers in the United States and make recommendations for improving the use of PRMs in dialysis related to Selection of PRMs, Mode of Administration, and Support for PRM Use. These recommendations include: (1) Continue the use of Kidney Disease Quality of Life 36-item survey (KDQOL™-36) for dialysis centers' internal quality improvement activities and the In-Center Hemodialysis Consumer Assessment of Health Care Providers and Systems (ICH-CAHPS survey®) for public dialysis center performance monitoring, but promote efforts to modify these instruments by incorporating PROMIS general health items (KDQOL-36) and reducing the length of the ICH-CAHPS. (2) Adopt a PRM of whether dialysis patients have been informed about all dialysis and transplant options. (3) Evaluate equivalence between electronic and paper versions of PRMs prior to widespread use of electronic administration. (4) Explore reimbursement of costs of PRM administration by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and kidney organizations. (5) Continue development of provider trainings in PRM administration and interpretation. These recommendations will help dialysis care decision-makers, clinicians, and applied researchers take the next steps toward enhancing PRM use in dialysis.
Keywords: Dialysis; Outcomes; Patient reported measures.