Routine Collection of Patient-Reported Outcomes in Thoracic Surgery: A Quality Improvement Study

Brendan T. Heiden, Melanie P. Subramanian, Ruben G. Nava, Alexander G. Patterson, Bryan F. Meyers, Varun Puri, Christian Oncken, Angela Keith, Tracey J. Guthrie, Deirdre J. Epstein, Mary Anne Lenk, Benjamin D. Kozower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Patient-reported outcomes are critical for delivering high-quality surgical care, yet they are seldom collected in routine clinical practice. The objective of this quality improvement study was to improve routine patient-reported outcomes collection in a thoracic surgery clinic. Methods: Thoracic surgery patients at a single academic institution were prospectively monitored from April 2019 to March 2020. The National Institutes of Health-validated Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) was used. Using a Model for Improvement design and through multidisciplinary participant observation, we performed multiple plan-do-study-act cycles, an iterative, 4-stage model for rapidly testing interventions, to improve routine collection reliability. Results: During the study period, 2315 patient visits occurred. The baseline PROMIS assessment collection rate was 53%. After convening a multidisciplinary stakeholder team, the key drivers for PROMIS collection were having engaged staff, engaged patients, adequate technological capacity, and adequate time for survey completion, including when to complete the survey during the patient visits. Regular meetings between stakeholders were initiated to promote these key drivers. Several plan-do-study-act cycles were then used to test different interventions, resulting in several positive system shifts, as demonstrated on a statistical process control chart. Adherence to survey collection reached 91% of office visits by approximately 7 months, a 72% relative improvement, which was sustained. Conclusions: Routine collection of patient-reported outcomes, such as PROMIS, are critical for improving thoracic surgical care. Our study shows that reliably collecting these data is possible in a clinical setting with minimal additional hospital resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1845-1852
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


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