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New DH guidance on patient-reported outcome measures

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Guidance for the NHS on the collection of patient reported outcome measures has been published by the government.

The new guidance will support the NHS to collect patient feedback on the success of their operations – Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) – from April this year. Health minister Lord Darzi first set out proposals for the routine collection of PROMs in his report High Quality Care for All in June last year.

It is a method for collecting information on the clinical quality of care as reported by patients themselves. Patients answer the same set of questions on their quality of life before and after an operation. The comparable data is then used to calculate a numerical value for the improvement to their health.

From April 2009, all licensed providers of hip replacements, knee replacements, groin hernia surgery and varicose vein surgery will be expected to invite patients undergoing one of these procedures to complete a pre-operative PROMs questionnaire. A contractor will then be responsible for collecting the pre-operative data and administering post-operative questionnaire.

Lord Darzi said: ‘While a surgeon may judge a hip replacement successful because the procedure has been performed perfectly on the day, the patient will rightly disagree if they are still in pain and continue to have a poor quality of life six months down the line.’

Click here to view the guidance

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