Real choice for patients and commissioners will not be possible until all hospitals in the private sector routinely collect and assess patient reported outcomes measures (PROMs) for quality improvement, says Bupa’s group medical director, Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen.
Speaking this evening to the UK’s Royal Society of Medicine (RSM), Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen will call for all private hospitals to collect PROMs for at least four areas: hip and knee replacements, groin hernia repair and varicose vein operations.
This will be compulsory within the National Health Service in 2009 and independent sector involvement will work towards establishing a shared database to ensure fair comparisons and true patient choice.
Ahead of the RSM meeting, Dr Vallance-Owen said: “The main challenge faced by public and private healthcare providers is the same: to make health and care personal; to make it beneficial to patients and to make it measurable.
“Doctors are good at measuring the state of people’s health when they develop a problem, treating most conditions and measuring when things go wrong, for example, mortality rates, infection rates and unexpected re-admissions.
“However, they haven’t been as good at the routine measurement of success or health gain after treatment which is actually much more common. This information needs to come directly from patients and PROMs are a good way of measuring the benefits that patients have gained from treatment.”