Adoption of Patient-Reported Outcomes by Health Systems and Physician Practices in the USA

J Gen Intern Med. 2022 Nov;37(15):3885-3892. doi: 10.1007/s11606-022-07631-0. Epub 2022 Apr 28.


Background: Patient-reported outcome measures (PROs) can help clinicians adjust treatments and deliver patient-centered care, but organizational adoption of PROs remains low.

Objective: This study examines the extent of PRO adoption among health systems and physician practices nationally and examines the organizational capabilities associated with more extensive PRO adoption.

Design: Two nationally representative surveys were analyzed in parallel to assess health system and physician practice capabilities associated with adoption of PROs of disability, pain, and depression.

Participants: A total of 323 US health system and 2,190 physician practice respondents METHODS: Multivariable regression models separately estimated the association of health system and physician practice capabilities associated with system-level and practice-level adoption of PROs.

Main measures: Health system and physician practice adoption of PROs for depression, pain, and disability.

Key results: Pain (50.6%) and depression (43.8%) PROs were more commonly adopted by all hospitals and medical groups within health systems compared to disability PROs (26.5%). In adjusted analyses, systems with more advanced health IT functions were more likely to use disability (p<0.05) and depression (p<0.01) PROs than systems with less advanced health IT. Practice-level advanced health IT was positively associated with use of depression PRO (p<0.05), but not disability or pain PRO use. Practices with more chronic care management processes, broader medical and social risk screening, and more processes to support patient responsiveness were more likely to adopt each of the three PROs. Compared to independent physician practices, system-owned practices and community health centers were less likely to adopt PROs.

Conclusions: Chronic care management programs, routine screening, and patient-centered care initiatives can enable PRO adoption at the practice level. Developing these practice-level capabilities may improve PRO adoption more than solely expanding health IT functions.

Keywords: care management; health information technology; health systems; patient-reported outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Pain
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Physicians*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology