Empowering patients. Value-based healthcare. Real world evidence (RWE) data gathered from large patient masses. Personalized and preventive medicine. Digital health applications not just complementing but replacing traditional treatments and procedures. These are just some of the anticipated and much-discussed megatrends reshaping healthcare as we know it. As a common nominator in all of the aforementioned, patients are gradually being brought into the centre of attention in healthcare and are more and more responsible for their own health.
Electronic patient-reported outcome measures (or ePROMs) are increasingly being used for gathering patient feedback to support clinical decision making and to produce valuable data on the overall impact of an intervention or treatment. What using ePROMs implies is that patients will increasingly be able to report on their well-being, different symptoms, and quality of life during treatment and follow-up period while using their own devices, and that the caregivers are responsible for listening to the patients.
In cancer care, using ePROMs has already been proven to improve patients’ quality of life and overall survival (Basch, 2016). Still, as a relatively new innovation in health, ePROMs are rarely being used in routine care. The Kaiku® Health team is seeking to change that.
Since 2012, we have been working with some of the leading European hospitals and clinics who have integrated Kaiku Health’s ePROMs into their workflows. We will now share 5 of the most impressive, concrete examples of how our customers have benefitted from using ePROMs.
Patients feel more safe and listened to when using Kaiku Health
During treatments that are mentally, physically and socially wearing, patients have an uninterrupted way to connect to medical staff and to report on their symptoms and quality of life. Adding to this, patients can follow on their treatment progress and prepare for the expected symptoms. According to our user research, 95 % of patients report that Kaiku Health supports their treatment. For our team, this is heart-warming, as our company-level mission is to help improve quality of life.
Nurses and doctors save time in preparing for patient meetings or phone calls
A nurse and a long-time user of Kaiku Health tells that she can see the development and the current status of the patient’s symptoms and quality of life at one glance from the visual data sheet of Kaiku Health. The data sheet collects and highlights the most relevant PROMs automatically without manual processing of data. This means the clinical staff can focus on the most pressing issues when allocating their limited time for patient visits or phone calls.
Patients report symptoms more actively and consistently using Kaiku Health
Numerous nurses using Kaiku Health have been amazed to see that their patients answer the same questions in Kaiku Health in more depth and more openly than they do when meeting them in person. This is due to the dynamics in social situations; when answering to a person, some patients belittle their symptoms or don’t tell about symptoms they feel awkward talking about. For instance, it might be difficult for patients to initiate discussion related to problems in sexual health, such as erectile dysfunction. Therefore, for many patients it is easier and non-shameful to choose from readily given, consistent list of alternatives in a dedicated application.
The consistency in collecting PRO data leads to better capabilities for the medical staff to follow-up and react on changes in the patient’s well-being. Another dimension in the consistency is that all patients across hospitals and even treatments can be measured and the data can be compared and combined. The accrued data can therefore also be used to generate more in-depth knowledge about the treatments.
Quality assurance in healthcare
Capturing and following PRO data can help recognize symptoms and potential risks earlier than with traditional means. In one example, recognizing an unexpected spike in the followed PROMs was a signal by which the treating doctor understood they needed to make immediate changes to the patient’s treatment plan. Also, after the adjustments, the symptoms could be monitored and they saw that the severity of symptoms decreased.
Using PROMs generates a whole new class of data which enables continuous improvements in healthcare
One of the most prominent urologists in Finland said “the better data we have, the better we can treat the patients” when describing PROMs and Kaiku Health. Indeed, according to our collaborating hospitals, using Kaiku Health generates over ten-fold amount of structured data during the treatment and follow-up periods as compared to traditional follow-up meetings. Having this sort of data enables entirely new applications: PRO data reveals strengths and weaknesses of different treatments and enables comparing alternatives. Thus, patients can use factual insights about expected quality of life when discussing treatment options together with their medical staff.
Now, if using ePROMs isn’t increasing patient centricity, I don’t know what is.
To dive deeper into the world of ePROMs, download and read through our white paper “Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in Cancer Care: A Review of the Scientic Evidence” .
To discuss how ePROMs can be integrated to your clinic’s workflow, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Written by Jaakko Laukkanen, Sales at NetmediTags: cancer care, ICHOM, Oncology, Patient-Reported Outcomes