Implementation of Patient-Reported Outcomes in Routine Medical Care

Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2018 May 23:38:122-134. doi: 10.1200/EDBK_200383.


There is increasing interest to integrate collection of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in routine practice to enhance clinical care. Multiple studies show that systematic monitoring of patients using PROs improves patient-clinician communication, clinician awareness of symptoms, symptom management, patient satisfaction, quality of life, and overall survival. The general approach includes a brief electronic survey, administered via the Web or an app or an automated telephone system, with alerts to clinicians for concerning or worsening issues. Patients have generally been asked to self-report on a regular basis (remotely between visits and/or at visits), with reminders prompting patients to self-report that are sent via email, text, or automated phone message. More recently, care management pathways for patients and clinicians have been triggered by PRO system alerts. PRO systems may be free-standing, integrated into electronic health record systems or patient portals, or native functionality of an electronic health record. Despite potential benefits, there are challenges with integrating PROs into practice for monitoring patient status, as there are with any modifications to existing clinical processes. These challenges range from administrative to technical to workflow. A session at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting was dedicated to the implementation of PROs in clinical practice. The session focused on practical examples of PRO implementations, with honest reflections on barriers and strategies that may be generalizable to other systems looking to implement PROs. Panelists for that session are the authors of this paper, which describes their respective experiences implementing PROs in practice settings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / methods
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Health Plan Implementation*
  • Humans
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Quality Improvement
  • Quality of Health Care*