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Patient-Reported Outcomes: Understanding Surgical Efficacy and Quality from the Patient's Perspective.

Billig JI, Sears ED, Travis BN, Waljee JF. Patient-Reported Outcomes: Understanding Surgical Efficacy and Quality from the Patient's Perspective. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2020 Jan 1; 27(1):56-64.

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In surgery, quality assessment encourages improved care delivery, better outcomes, and helps determine surgical efficacy. Quality is important from a patient, provider, payer, and policy maker standpoint. However, given the growth of outpatient procedures, expansion of surgical indications to enhance function, and the decline of perioperative morbidity and mortality, many traditional quality metrics, such as mortality, readmissions, and complications, may not fully capture quality. As such, patient-reported outcomes (PROs) can be used to complement the established clinical outcomes and describe surgical efficacy and quality from the patient''s point of view. Generic and disease-specific PRO measures capture health-related quality of life, functional status, and pain. These measures permit a more holistic understanding of how surgery affects different aspects of a patient''s health, augment other clinical outcomes, and are commonly used to determine efficacy in clinical trials. Moreover, our national reimbursement structure is currently evolving to include PROs for certain surgical conditions in measures of quality and with direct linkage to payments. Even so, there continues to be challenges in the implementation of PRO measures in everyday surgical practice, with questions of optimal administration and how to integrate these measures into provider work flow. Despite these challenges, PROs provide vital information regarding surgical efficacy and quality and are critical in the delivery of patient-centered care.

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