Overview: What's That Survey I'm Being Asked to Fill Out?
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Did you receive an email asking you to fill out a health questionnaire before your appointment, or did our staff give you a tablet in clinic? If so, you may have some questions about this new process.
The health questionnaire is a “patient reported outcome" or PRO, which is a set of questions that only you (the patient) can answer. University of Utah Health has branded our collection of patient reported outcomes as “mEVAL”.
We are in the process of rolling out mEVAL to all our outpatient clinics over the next three years, so you can expect to see the questionnaires at various clinics.
How Are the Questions Used?
Patient reported outcomes are very important tools to understand how well a patient is doing. Traditionally, health care providers have been measured on quality process measures like infection rates. However, none of these measures really helped to define the value a patient received from a medical intervention. Providers are held accountable for metrics that patients report about their care.
At University of Utah Health, we view this as an opportunity to further understand our patients and how we can add value to your care. The mEVAL system is an electronic way to capture your answers to health-related questions—instead of asking you to fill them out on paper.
By capturing them electronically, we are also able to transmit them directly into your chart and provide the data to your provider.
How Is This Helpful to Me & My Provider?
The primary goal of the patient reported outcome questionnaires is to understand how you feel about your health. At its simplest, they:
- Give you a voice and insight into your overall health status.
- Allow you to chart your progress towards achieving specific health goals.
- Increase communication between you and your provider.
This is an opportunity for you to provide more specific details about your health to your provider. The questionnaire also helps ensure that your concerns are addressed. This is a useful tool because it gives your provider an additional piece of information about your overall health.
This additional information can assist your provider in evaluating your progress over time and creating the best plan of care for you.
How Often Will I Complete These Questionnaires?
There are many different patient reported outcome questionnaires, and you will be asked certain ones based on the type of provider you are seeing or the medical condition for which you are being treated.
Some of the questions maybe asked only once per year or every few months or even at every visit. That will all depend on the frequency that your treatment team decided was most appropriate.
The Science Behind Patient Reported Outcomes
There are hundreds of patient reported outcome questionnaires that have been used for years. Selecting the right ones for our patients is a constantly evolving process. The goal is to have questionnaires that are validated and precise and provide actionable data to your treatment team. The exact questionnaires chosen will change over time.
When possible, University of Utah Health uses PROMIS questionnaires, which were developed by the National Institutes of Health. These questionnaires have been validated across a wide variety of patients and conditions and help to standardize answers.
An additional benefit of PROMIS questions is that some of them have computer adaptive testing versions, which means the answer to a particular question determines what the next question will be. This allows us to ask only four to eight questions instead of asking 124 questions, which saves you a lot of time!