Partners HealthCare announced the launch of a new website called, “Partners Care Decisions” aimed at helping patients make more informed decisions about their health care. The website, one of the first of its kind in the country, shows interactive and easy-to-read patient reported data from Partners’ patients about their recovery process from several common surgical procedures. This data not only informs patient decision-making and expectations before and after surgery, it serves as a way to track and monitor the quality and value of the care delivered from the perspective of the patient. This week, the New England Journal of Medicine featured Partners’ efforts in this area further reinforcing the importance of patient reported data in enhancing patient care and its benefits to our health care system. 

Patients are often confronted with many treatment options when they are dealing with serious health issues. Partners Care Decisions brings a unique framework that ties together the patient’s background, clinician’s knowledge, and patient recorded data so that patients can be more informed about their treatment options and get the individualized care that’s right for them. Patients receive personalized risk scores for certain procedures and better understand risk of complications based on their medical history. This coupled with other shared decision making materials help make patients more informed and better able to make decisions about their care.

The website focuses on several common conditions such as knee pain, spinal stenosis, lower urinary tract symptoms, and coronary artery disease. In each area, patient data show how soon pain severity decreases after surgical procedures or how quickly patients are able to get back to their day-to-day activities like walking the stairs or lifting grocery bags.  This data is commonly referred to as Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs).

“For many patients, the PROMs data is invaluable. Patients are often nervous about surgery and want to know what to expect after the procedure,” said Neil Wagle, MD, MBA, Associate Chief Quality Officer of Partners Quality, Safety and Value and Center for Population Health.

These graphs show patients how other patients at Partners recovered from surgery, which is incredibly helpful and not the type of information usually available to patients.

Neil Wagle, MD, MBA Associate Chief Quality Officer of Partners Quality, Safety and Value and Center for Population Health

In addition to serving as a decision support tool or educational resource for patients, Partners’ hospitals are now using this data as an internal measure of quality.  The data are reviewed by physicians and used to identify sources of variability and to discover opportunities to improve the quality and value of our care. 

“Standard quality measures such as readmission and mortality rates are important.  However, by collecting and sharing patient reported outcome data on the Care Decisions website, we are providing deeper data-driven insights into some of the most common conditions treated at Partners.” said Sree Chaguturu, MD, Vice President, Center for Population Health at Partners HealthCare.  “We believe this will help us provide high value care to all our patients.”

At Partners, collecting PROMs is a key initiative in population health with over 1.2 million questionnaires collected in about 80 clinics across 20 conditions. Care Decisions features a sub-selection of PROMs, but the plan is to expand these conditions over the next few years. The Care Decisions website is also being integrated into the Patient Portal Gateway and the electronic health record (EHR) system as an easily accessible patient education resource. 

For more information, visit the Care Decisions website or for more information about population health, click here.