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Am J Manag Care. 2016 Dec 1;22(12):e403-e408.

The effect of EHR-integrated patient-reported outcomes on satisfaction with chronic pain care.

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Indiana University, 1050 Wishard Blvd, RG 5134, Indianapolis, IN 46202-2872. E-mail:



Given its complexity, chronic noncancer pain presents an opportunity to use health information technology (IT) to improve care experiences. The objective of this study was to assess whether integrating patient-reported outcomes (PROs) data in an electronic health record (EHR) affects provider and patient satisfaction with chronic noncancer pain care.


We conducted a pragmatic cluster randomized trial involving 4 family medicine clinics.


We enrolled primary care providers (PCPs) and their patients with chronic noncancer pain. In the first 7 months (education phase), PCPs in intervention practices received education on how to use PROs for pain care. In the second 7 months (PRO phase), patients in intervention practices reported pain-related outcomes on arrival at their visits. PROs were immediately reported to PCPs through the EHR. Control group PCPs provided usual care. We compared intervention and control practices in terms of provider and patient satisfaction with care.


During the education phase, patients' mean ratings of their visits did not differ between control and intervention (9.33 vs 9.08; P = .20). During the PRO phase, patients' mean ratings did not differ between control and intervention (9.28 vs 9.01; P = .20). Similarly, there were no differences between the intervention and control groups in terms of provider satisfaction.


Delivering EHR-integrated PROs did not consistently improve patient or provider satisfaction. Positively, we found no evidence that the PRO tools negatively affected satisfaction. Future studies and technological innovations are needed to translate point-of-care health IT tools into improvements in patient and provider experiences.

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