Abstract Perspective: Impact of assessing patient-reported outcomes with mobile apps on patient-provider interaction


“Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are surveys used to measure patient health status and functioning. PROs are important tools for documenting and tracking patient health status over time. This is particularly useful in the management of chronic conditions such as rheumatic diseases, where symptoms can fluctuate over time depending on disease-related inflammation and progression and effectiveness of treatments. Nowadays, clinicians are transitioning from  measurement of PROs with paper forms in the office to administration online via patient portals and mobile apps integrated with electronic health record systems.

We had a chance to examine the effects of introducing new technology when in 2016, the Swiss Clinical Quality Management in Rheumatic Diseases registry (SCQM) started offering patients mobile apps to record patient-reported outcomes between their appointments. Our analysis found that using the apps only improved the quality of patient-provider interactions when the patients and physicians discussed the app results during appointments.

While the availability of new technologies for collecting PROs opens up exciting new possibilities for chronic disease management, our study calls attention to the importance of thinking about how to promote the integration of the new information into clinical practice.”

– Dr. Yomei Shaw, study author