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Sara Sprinkhuizen

Sara Sprinkhuizen is a Project Leader at ICHOM, where she has led development of the Stroke and Macular Degeneration Standard Sets, a large part of which involved researching patient-reported outcomes measures. Additionally, she has been involved in developing a framework for global health care data collection and analysis. Prior to joining ICHOM, Sara worked as a postdoctoral researcher for Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, developing MRI scanning techniques. Sara holds a PhD in MRI physics from Utrecht University.

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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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