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Health Aff (Millwood). 2016 Apr;35(4):575-82. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1362.

Incorporating Patient-Reported Outcomes Into Health Care To Engage Patients And Enhance Care.

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Danielle C. Lavallee ( is a research assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Washington, in Seattle.
Kate E. Chenok is president of Chenok Associates, in Orinda, California.
Rebecca M. Love is a senior consultant on surgical outcomes and analysis at Kaiser Permanente, in San Diego, California.
Carolyn Petersen is a senior editor at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota.
Erin Holve is a senior director of research and education in health services research at AcademyHealth, in Washington, D.C.
Courtney D. Segal is a predoctoral fellow in the Department of Health Services, School of Public Health, at the University of Washington.
Patricia D. Franklin is a professor in the Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, in Worcester.


The provision of patient-centered care requires a health care environment that fosters engagement between patients and their health care team. One way to encourage patient-centered care is to incorporate patient-reported outcomes into clinical settings. Collecting these outcomes in routine care ensures that important information only the patient can provide is captured. This provides insights into patients' experiences of symptoms, quality of life, and functioning; values and preferences; and goals for health care. Previously embraced in the research realm, patient-reported outcomes have started to play a role in successful shared decision making, which can enhance the safe and effective delivery of health care. We examine the opportunities for using patient-reported outcomes to enhance care delivery and outcomes as health care information needs and technology platforms change. We highlight emerging practices in which patient-reported outcomes provide value to patients and clinicians and improve care delivery. Finally, we examine present and future challenges to maximizing the use of patient-reported outcomes in the clinic.


electronic health record; patient engagement; patient-generated health data; patient-reported outcomes; shared decision making

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