Systemwide Implementation of Patient-Reported Outcomes in Routine Clinical Care at a Children's Hospital

Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2018 Aug;44(8):441-453. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjq.2018.01.002. Epub 2018 Jun 20.


Background: Despite a growing literature on patient-reported outcomes (PROs), little has been written to guide development of a standardized, systemwide PRO program across multiple clinics and conditions. A PRO implementation program, which was created at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, a large children's hospital, can serve as a standardized approach for the use of PROs in a clinical setting.

Methods: Recommended standardized PRO implementation components include identification of a committed clinical leader and team, selection of an instrument that addresses the identified outcome of interest, specifying threshold scores that indicate when an intervention is needed, identification of clinical interventions to be triggered by threshold scores, provision of training for providers and staff involved in the PRO implementation process, and the measurement and monitoring of PRO use.

Results: For each instrument, the completion goal is 80%, defined as the number of PRO measures that were actually completed divided by the number that should have been completed. The overall combined completion rate is 75% for the 68 unique instruments currently in use. Case studies of specific clinical team experiences demonstrate the value of using PROs and the implementation components and shows how PROs are used to promote patient-centered care.

Conclusion: Data on PRO implementation are collected on an ongoing basis to confirm the value of the program, define ongoing improvement, and fuel collaborative research to further refine essential implementation components and successful spread. Next steps include measuring the influence of PRO use on coproduction of patient-centered clinical care and the impact PRO measurement has on patient outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / organization & administration*
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / standards
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Leadership
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Quality of Life
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Work Engagement