We have recently started measuring patient experience and outcomes (PROMs and PREMs) to help us evaluate the effectiveness of our service from the patient’s perspective. For the PROMs, we are using the new Arthritis Research UK Musculoskeletal Health Questionnaire. Our experience will contribute to the joint NHS England/Arthritis Research UK trial.
Once patients have been referred to us and given an appointment to see a clinician, they are asked to complete a PROMs questionnaire. The questions focus on how the condition is affecting their quality of life and provides a benchmark for comparison. The patient will receive a follow up PROMs questionnaire three months after discharge (six months if they have had surgery) so that we can measure how beneficial the patient feels their treatment has been.
We are also measuring the patient’s experience of their journey through the service – from their initial appointment with their GP right through to discharge. Once patients have been referred and received their first appointment with a clinician, they are asked to complete a PREMs questionnaire: Were they given enough information? Did they feel involved in decisions? Did they understand the proposed treatment? Were they able to ask questions? Was the waiting time acceptable? Were they treated with respect and dignity? Patients will be asked to complete a follow up PREMs questionnaire within 24 hours of being discharged.
Data from PROMs and PREMs is just starting to come in so we are looking at it carefully to see how we can incorporate patients’ viewpoints into the delivery of our service and work towards improved outcomes and experience.