Collection and Utilization of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in a Colorectal Surgery Clinic

J Surg Res. 2022 Dec;280:515-525. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2022.07.042. Epub 2022 Sep 5.


Introduction: The routine collection of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) promises to improve patient care. However, in colorectal surgery, PROMs are uncommonly collected outside of clinical research studies and rarely used in clinical care. We designed and implemented a quality improvement project with the goals of routinely collecting PROMs and increasing the frequency that PROMs are utilized by colorectal surgeons in clinical practice.

Methods: This mixed-methods, quality improvement project was conducted in the colorectal surgery clinic of a tertiary academic medical center. Patients were administered up to five PROMs before each appointment. PROM completion rates were measured. Additionally, we performed two educational interventions to increase utilization of our electronic health record's PROM dashboard by colorectal surgeons. Utilization rates and attitudes toward the PROM dashboard were measured.

Results: Overall, patients completed 3600 of 3977 (90.9%) administered PROMs during the study period. At baseline, colorectal surgeons reviewed 6.7% of completed PROMs. After two educational interventions, this increased to 39.3% (P = 0.004). Colorectal surgeons also felt that the PROM dashboard was easier to use. Barriers to greater PROM dashboard utilization included poor user interface/user experience and a perceived lack of knowledge, time, and relevance.

Conclusions: The collection of PROMs in colorectal surgery clinics is feasible and can result in high PROM completion rates. Educational interventions can improve the utilization of PROMs by colorectal surgeons in clinical practice. Our experience collecting PROMs through this quality improvement initiative can serve as a template for other colorectal surgery clinics interested in collecting and utilizing data from PROMs.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Diverticulitis; Inflammatory bowel disease; Patient-reported outcome measures; Quality improvement; Quality of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms*
  • Colorectal Surgery*
  • Humans
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Quality Improvement