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The American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR), a multi-stakeholder, not-for-profit organization that optimizes patient outcomes through the collection of data on primary and revision hip and knee replacement procedures throughout the US, published a guide on their new Level III patient-reported outcome (PRO) platform and how to utilize it to capture data. Hospitals will now be able to better manage their PRO programs and can build them around the requirements provided in the guide.

A PRO is defined as any information on the outcomes of health care obtained directly from patients without modification by clinicians or other healthcare professionals. PROs may be used to assess many different aspects of a patient’s health, and to measure surgical or other treatment outcomes over time. Having this data from a National Registry enables institutions to make informed decisions based on clinical facts and figures.

“PROs are becoming more and more important to health care, as the federal government continues to emphasize their use with programs and quality initiatives,” said Daniel J. Berry, MD, Chair of the AJRR Board of Directors. “We want to ensure that our platform is relevant to practicing physicians, and that they are getting the most out of what we have to offer. Our new guide is perfect for pointing institutions in the right direction when forming a program and helping hospitals that already collect PROs to adjust in a way that makes data submission simpler.”

AJRR developed the PRO platform within AJRR’s Demand Reporting & Electronic Dashboard system. Clinical staff is able to access patient data while having the ability to manage PRO surveys electronically via a secure patient portal. The AJRR Dashboard system can also pull site-specific patient reports and summary results for each PRO measure supported on the AJRR system, and will display national benchmarks for certain measures. There is currently no additional cost for using the Level III platform.

The guide features several tables that summarize the patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) that the AJRR collects, and which specific measures are recommended. The AJRR realizes that some institutions may have long-standing PRO programs, so a variety of measures are available in the system. A list of questions that hospital staff might ask themselves before beginning a program are provided, along with two workflow diagrams. These diagrams show how data could be submitted into the Registry in either electronic or paper formats. A section devoted to the lessons learned from our participants is featured at the end of the document. The advice is based on previously-held focus groups and discussions with hospitals.

“AJRR launched Level I data element reporting in 2012. We are proud to now be able to collect Level III data as well,” said Dr. Berry. “Collecting PRO data and submitting it to a Registry provides many benefits for patients, hospitals, practices, and individual orthopaedic surgeons. With the guide, AJRR has made the process more straightforward and convenient than ever before.”

The patient-reported outcome measures guide can be found here.