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New book helps bring patients’ perspectives to measurements of health care performance

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – The patient's point of view, although central to health care, can sometimes be overlooked. A new book published by RTI Press offers health care providers a way to integrate patients' voices into measures of performance.

The book, "Patient-Reported Outcomes in Performance Measurement," describes best practices in the use of patient-reported outcomes, or PROs. 

PROs are reports in which patients describe their conditions, behaviors, or health-care experiences, usually through questionnaires. Responses come directly from the patient, without any modification by clinicians or others.

PROs can help patients and their clinicians make better decisions about care. They can also have a higher-level impact, helping track the performance of health care delivery organizations. 

"Being able to provide practical advice for implementing performance measurement and quality improvement programs into everyday clinical practice is immensely rewarding to us all," said co-author David Cella, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Integrating 'the patient's voice' into evaluations of health care delivery is crucial for improving patient outcomes, and we are delighted to have had the opportunity to publish this scientific, yet real-world, work in RTI Press."

RTI Distinguished Fellow Kathleen Lohr, PhD, is a co-author of the book, along with six scholars from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine: David Cella, Elizabeth A. Hahn, Sally E. Jensen, Zeeshan Butt, Cindy Nowinski, and Nan Rothrock.

Among the critical issues in today's health care are those of improving the quality of care through modern approaches to assessing the performance of health systems, clinicians, and others caring for patients.  Overcoming the challenges of such assessments in clinical practice settings, particularly the use of PROs, is the core of the book "Patient-Reported Outcomes in Performance Measurement." The authors explain in easy to understand ways how to choose and administer PROs, and use the results to help measure performance. 

The book is available through RTI Press and on Amazon.com.