Patient familiarity with IR electronic outcome reporting boosts likelihood of completing follow-up questionnaire

New research suggests patients familiar with electronic quality-of-life (QOL) reporting are more likely to remotely complete a post-appointment questionnaire, according to an interventional radiology study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. The findings may improve patient outcome data collection.

Bipartisan support for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act hints that quality-based payment for Medicare providers will remain central to healthcare, wrote lead author Nam S. Hoang, with Stanford University School of Medicine, in California, and colleagues. CMS has also proposed payments based on patient-reported outcomes (PROs), suggesting these metrics will prove to be a focal point of patient-centered care.

With this in mind, Hoang et al. set out to determine the effectiveness of an electronic data collection system for deep vein thrombosis and lymphedema QOL questionnaires at a tertiary care interventional radiology practice.

A total of 102 of 106 patients who visited the clinic between February 2016 and August 2017 completed a pre-intervention questionnaire. Fifty completed responses over email, while 51 percent did so using a tablet.

Of the 102 patients, 53 were sent post-procedure questionnaires, nearly half of whom were seen in-person for a follow-up visit. A total of 76 percent of in-person patients completed the follow-up questions via email—the remainder used a tablet in the clinic.

Twenty-seven of the 53 patient did not return for another visit and 74 percent replied to the electronic questionnaire, which served as their only source of follow-up, the authors noted.

“After an initial introduction to electronic QOL reporting, patients were more likely to complete the questionnaires remotely for their follow-up appointment,” the authors wrote. “A semi-automated electronic QOL system allows physicians to collect patient outcome data even in the absence of a clinic visit.”

Hoang and colleagues found the reporting system improved the amount of patient-focused evidence-based data for both the evaluation and treatment of lymphedema and deep vein thrombosis. They also concluded further investigation should be completed to determine if this type of system could become a central function of outpatient clinic workflow alongside value-based care.