Use Results in Clinical Care

If patients do not see their assessment results being used, they may not see a benefit to continuing to complete assessments. If clinicians do not know how to interpret and respond to a measure’s score, they won’t use the information the patient provides.

Facilitate Use of Assessment Results in Clinical Care

  • Implement measures that provide information that care providers and patients can use.
  • Engage care providers and patients before implementation to identify if and when scores should trigger specific clinical actions (e.g., further assessment, education on symptom management, referral).
  • Enable patients to track their scores over time.
  • Present scores using best practices for data visualization.  Learn more>>
  • When patient-reported outcome measures are implemented for evaluating care quality, research, or reasons other than informing an individual patient’s care, clinicians’ can simply acknowledge the completed assessment (e.g., “Thank you for completing that assessment. It helps our healthcare system evaluate how we are doing.”)

Demonstrations from Clinicians

  • Northwestern Medicine created a 4-minute video, “Why I use Patient-Reported Outcomes in my Clinical Care with Sheetal Kircher, MD.” Dr. Kircher defines patient-reported outcomes, explains how she uses them in care, and guides clinicians on where to find scores in the electronic health record. Watch now>>
  • University of Rochester Medicine created a 2-minute video showing a patient completing a PROMIS assessment in clinic on a tablet. Then, Dr. Judy Baumhauer reviews the results with the patient in the visit. Watch now>>

Resources for Interpreting Scores

  • View the Score Interpretation section of this website for understanding:
    • Direction of scores (e.g., higher scores = more symptoms or function)
    • Reference population (e.g., mean of 50 in the U.S. general population)
    • Cut points and score descriptors (e.g., 61 – 70 = moderate)
    • Important change for individual patients and groups