Dr Stephen Edge Discusses the Role of Patient Reported Outcomes and Quality Metrics in Oncology Care

The patient's voice is important in analyzing and evaluating the effectiveness of care, as well as in assessing the value of new treatments, said Stephen Edge, MD, FACS, FASCO, vice president of Healthcare Outcomes and Policy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

How are patient reported outcomes becoming of growing importance in the transition to value-based care?

People are recognizing a couple of things–the voice of the patient is really important in analyzing and evaluating the effectiveness of care. They're also recognizing that listening to patients and giving patients the opportunity to provide information during care can actually improve their outcomes of their care meaning dealing with side effects, dealing with emotional issues, and other impacts of treatment. Dealing with those things when they're occurring rather than waiting for them to come into an office where it's intimidating to give the information that actually improves the outcome. There are data that show that measuring these and feeding the information back to providers during the course of treatment actually not only improves the effectiveness of the treatment and the quality-of-life during treatment, but it actually improves survival of patients.

What role do quality metrics play in showing what strategies efficiently improve oncology healthcare?

Measures of care can be used for a number of different things. Measures can be used to evaluate whether the care that you received is the appropriate care–that's the obvious thing; but measures can also be used to evaluate how you are doing with your treatment and to intervene so that you can improve the treatment that you're receiving and deal with side effects of the treatment you'll be giving. Organizations from ASCO to the American College of Surgeons, to all the professional organizations going up through national organizations, including the National Quality Forum, are using these measures to both evaluate the care that's being given and to help patients and their providers ensure that they're getting the best care and they're dealing with the problems associated with those care. Furthermore, these measures will help in assessing the value of care when one's doing the value assessment of a new treatment. New treatments are very expensive–there’s a lot of new treatments becoming available and the patient's voice will become important in assessing the value of these new treatments.
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