Patients at Monash Health’s cancer clinic in Berwick are the first to participate in an MPCCC-funded project piloting the real-time collection of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) and patient-reported experience measures (PREMs).

Launched on Friday 29 November, the pilot invites patients to complete a PROMs and PREMs questionnaire using an iPad in the waiting room, prior to their consultation. Patients’ responses are provided to their treating clinicians in real-time, so any significant issues identified can be addressed immediately.

“The questionnaire aims to help cancer patients seek support from their treating clinicians for a broad range of quality of life issues that they otherwise may not have the confidence to raise,” said Dr Kate Webber, a medical oncologist at Monash Health.

“It will also help clinicians to provide more holistic care and to address the issues that really matter to patients in real time,” Dr Webber said.

The validated PROMs and PREMs questionnaire has been developed in consultation with Monash Health oncologists and patients.  Between 50-60 questions were selected after extensive research into existing PROMs and PREMs models across Europe and North America. The questions target four key domains of patient wellbeing, assessing how well a patient’s physical, emotional, social and information needs are being met.

Participating Monash Health medical oncologist, Dr Gwo Yaw Ho, has already witnessed how real-time collection of PROMs and PREMs can benefit patients’ wellbeing.

“I saw a patient in clinic today who has been under considerable amount of stress stemmed from a lack of social support. Her participation in this project highlighted to the patient that her non-cancer related issues are also highly relevant and should be addressed appropriately. We were able to discuss this during our consultation,” Dr Ho observed.

“The questionnaire prompted intervention leading to a referral to a social worker who is now helping her through those circumstances. This is one of many other significant non-cancer related problems that can be detected and addressed through patients’ participation with the questionnaire,” Dr Ho said.

In addition to trialling the real-time collection of PROMs and PREMs in a clinical setting, MPCCC is funding a complementary project that will be collecting registry-based PROMs and PREMs from pancreatic cancer patients at 3-month intervals, remotely using email and text message communications. Patients’ responses will be integrated into the Upper Gastrointestinal Cancer Registry (UGICR), and help inform quality of care reports the registry provides to health services. This pilot will launch in early 2020 across Monash Health, Alfred Health, Eastern Health and Peninsula Health.

“Our aim is to establish an electronic platform that enables patients to easily provide information about their outcomes and experiences. This important information has not previously been collected.” said Ms Jennifer Holland, Coordinator of the UGICR and a Project Manager for the MPCCC pilot project.

“This project gives an exciting opportunity to bring a focus to the patient voice and help drive patient-centred improvements in quality of care,” said Dr Daniel Croagh, Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgeon and Clinical Lead for the project.

For more information, contact for the Monash Health real-time collection of PROMS and PREMS in a clinical setting or for the pancreatic cancer PROMs and PREMs registry-based pilot.