Patient Reported Outcomes

"PROs are part of the future of medicine and a field that has been progressing for the last few years, but not very rapidly. Medicine, unlike most other businesses, has tended to focus on physicians’ opinions. We’ve learned that what physicians and patients think is best is not always the same. PROs will make us more aware of exactly what patients are experiencing and what’s important to them, which will help us provide the best possible treatment strategies and outcomes. PROs are a way to rapidly assess a broad field of symptoms and identify the most problematic."
Dr. Timothy Vollmer, RMMSC Medical Director


Medical appointments tend to be too short to address all our concerns and care does not always feel patient-centered. In an effort to remedy these common experiences and give patients a voice, the Rocky Mountain MS Center at Anschutz Medical Campus employs a unique program: Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs).

The MS Center at Anschutz Medical Campus clinic invites all patients with appointments to complete questionnaires (available on iPads in the clinic and sent out by email) about their quality of life. This self-assessment program helps providers recognize quality-of-life changes over time, making patients’ concerns central to their ongoing care, and recognizing similarities or differences within the patient population as a whole.

Patients coming into the clinic are asked to fill out questionnaires that cover quality-of-life factors such as depression, anxiety, cognition and mobility. Their initial answers make up the baseline data—which will be used as a comparison for later responses—and will provide a picture of quality-of-life trends in the patient population overall.

Using that information, the MS Center team develops educational tools, which patients will automatically receive based on their responses. If patients report fatigue, for example, educational resources with techniques for alleviating fatigue—such as videos and articles—will be sent to them. Tailored education is one of many unique aspects of the PRO program that will revolutionize health care and give patients the opportunity to drive their own care.

The RMMSC's Patient Reported Outcomes project is supported 
by a grant from the COPIC Medical Foundation.