Three Keys to PRO Collection and Research Success

Posted by Blake McWilliams on 2020-06-19

As value-based care proliferates across the globe, health practices, systems and hospitals need digital solutions that enable them to collect lean data sets that can be leveraged for universal benefit. Solutions and systems rooted in research have expanded into multi-faceted patient engagement and data collection in order to provide such benefit.

Because data collection and patient engagement systems have to compete on patient experience, reporting and data mining, and multi-faceted functionality, many of the leading platforms have developed technology and expertise that enables users to accomplish multiple goals with not only a single vendor, but a single data set.

Patient Reported Outcomes (PRO) data, for example, can be utilized for research, marketing, business development, and quality improvement.

As data collection and patient engagement experts, we at OBERD have identified three key areas of focus that can help providers, researchers, and administrators collect the research data set they need without overburdening the patient, provider, or practice.

1.) Adopt Standards for Apples-To-Apples Comparison

Deciding to collect PRO data is the easy part. Knowing where to begin can be more difficult. What forms do you collect? At what time intervals do you collect? For what procedures? Fortunately, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) did us all a favor by recommending PRO collection standards. And by adopting recommended standards, providers across the U.S. and the world can collaborate, benchmark and compare apples-to-apples data. If most total joint surgeons collect KOOS JR and PROMIS Global at 6 months post-op for Total Knee Arthroplasty, we’ll know whose average scores are better. And by incorporating standard deviation we’ll know how accurate those comparisons are. Be sure to partner with a vendor who has this level of expertise and capability.

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AAOS standard PRO collection protocol for Total Knee Arthroplasty

2.) CAT (Computer Adaptive Testing) for Minimal Patient Burden

Various instruments, such as PROMIS, offer variations of Computer Adaptive Testing in order to minimize patient burden when collecting data. OBERD has pioneered a new CAT methodology by leveraging our expansive musculoskeletal PRO data set and machine learning techniques to train the OBERD platform to shorten standardized PROs such as ODI, NDI, KOOS, KOOS JR, HOOS, HOOS JR, ASES, and more. By predicting the patient’s PRO score as she navigates through the form, OBERD is able to reduce the number of questions in PRO assessments significantly.

3.) Complement PRO Data with Clinical Outcomes

PRO data is an important piece of the puzzle, but it’s not the entire puzzle. If you plan to use an electronic data capture system for research-focused PRO collection, be sure to find a vendor that has the flexibility and customization available to collect any patient-reported subjective or objective data point you need. Demographic data, comorbidity data, clinical outcome data, adverse event data, and more will flesh out your data set, on one platform, to give you the full picture of patients’ experiences and outcomes.

We believe incorporating these recommendations will result in the shortest possible path between you and the data set you need for comprehensive research, collaboration, and quality improvement.