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Caleb Stowell

Caleb Stowell joined ICHOM after spending two years as a research associate and then as a senior health care researcher with Professor Michael Porter at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness (ISC) at Harvard Business School. During this time, he contributed to academic articles, case studies, and presentations promoting a value-based approach to health care delivery in the U.S. and abroad. More recently, he served as the ISC’s primary liaison in launching ICHOM. In November 2012, he joined ICHOM full-time to lead its global outcome standardization efforts. Caleb received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

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Caleb Stowell
Sara Sprinkhuizen

Improving Patient-Reported Outcomes

Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) have been used in healthcare since the 1970s. But the industry hasn’t had meaningful, consistent PROs and PROMs definitions until ICHOM developed one. ICHOM, a pioneer in outcomes measurement and improvement, demonstrates that healthcare organizations focused on improving patient outcomes that patients actually care about are the ones most likely to transform healthcare.

PROs and PROMs complement clinical indicators in understanding the quality of healthcare a team is delivering. For example, an improvement program for prostate cancer patients that only focuses on improving blood loss or length of stay in the hospital completely misses a patient’s biggest fears: will they need to wear pads for the rest of their life? Will their relationship with their partner be the same as it was?

By focusing on outcomes that matter most to patients, health systems will be more successful at improving outcomes. ICHOM describes five strategies for getting started with PROs and PROMs:

Find the Believers (Identify Clinician Champions)
Organize a Cross-Functional Team (with Appropriate Governance)
Invest Time and Resources
Celebrate Progress Along the Way
Use Early Successes to Scale and Spread

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