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Meyers Primary Care Institute; Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine

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Epidemiology | Health Information Technology | Health Services Administration | Primary Care


Context: Patient reported outcomes (PROs) are one means of systematically gathering meaningful subjective information for patient care, population health, and patient centered outcomes research. However, optimal data management for effective PRO applications is unclear.

Case description: Delivery systems associated with the Health Care Systems Research Network (HCSRN) have implemented PRO data collection as part of the Medicare annual Health Risk Assessment (HRA). A questionnaire assessed data content, collection, storage, and extractability in HCSRN delivery systems.

Findings: Responses were received from 15 (83.3 percent) of 18 sites. The proportion of Medicare beneficiaries completing an HRA ranged from less than 10 to 42 percent. Most sites collected core HRA elements and 10 collected information on additional domains such as social support. Measures for core domains varied across sites. Data were collected at and prior to visits. Modes included paper, clinician entry, patient portals, and interactive voice response. Data were stored in the electronic health record (EHR) in scanned documents, free text, and discrete fields, and in summary databases.

Major themes: PRO implementation requires effectively collecting, storing, extracting, and applying patient-reported data. Standardizing PRO measures and storing data in extractable formats can facilitate multi-site uses for PRO data, while access to individual PROs in the EHR may be sufficient for use at the point of care.

Conclusion: Collecting comparable PRO data elements, storing data in extractable fields, and collecting data from a higher proportion of eligible respondents represents an optimal approach to support multi-site applications of PRO information.


patient reported outcomes, electronic health records, patient-centered care, data collection

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Copyright: © 2018 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See

DOI of Published Version



EGEMS (Wash DC). 2018 May 10;6(1):5. doi: 10.5334/egems.201. Link to article on publisher's site

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.