Skip to content
Everything You Need to know About PROMs and PREMs

Introduction to PROMs and PREMs

PROMs (patient-reported outcome measures) and PREMs (patient-reported experience measures) are used to measure the well-being of patients. These tools help assess the quality of care and the impact of treatments on a patient.

PROMs measure patient-specific health outcomes. Common examples are pain, fatigue, mobility and other physical symptoms. PREMs focus on the patient’s overall experience of their healthcare, including their opinions about the care they have received and their perceptions about the impact of treatment.

How are they used

At its core, PROMs involve patients completing questionnaires or surveys to provide vital information about their medical experiences. It could include questions such as their level of symptom severity, their treatments’ effectiveness, or the patient’s overall satisfaction with care. PREMs, on the other hand, involve patients providing feedback on their experiences with healthcare providers.

Another important use of PROMs and PREMs is to assess the impact of a particular intervention or treatment. Through PROMs, healthcare providers can understand if a patient’s health has improved after a specific intervention. Similarly, PREMs can provide insight into whether a particular healthcare provider’s communication has had a positive effect. Collecting this data over time can help healthcare providers and administrators identify best practices and institute system-wide changes where appropriate.

How do PREMs and PROMs work together

PREMs (Patient-Reported Experience Measures) and PROMs (Patient-Reported Outcome Measures) are both important tools used in healthcare to gather patient feedback and assess the effectiveness of treatment.

PREMs and PROMs provide a comprehensive view of patients’ experiences and outcomes. The data collected through PREMs can be used to identify areas for improvement in healthcare services and facilities. In contrast, the data collected through PROMs can evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. By combining the information gathered through PREMs and PROMs, healthcare providers can gain valuable insights into improving the patient experience and achieving better outcomes.

PREMs and PROMs are essential in providing the best care to patients and helping healthcare providers understand how to improve their service, identify areas for improvement, and evaluate their treatment effectiveness. By working together, PREMs and PROMs can help healthcare providers provide their patients with the best possible care.

What are some examples of PROMs and PREMs

PROMs and PREMs are tools used to collect information directly from patients about their health status, treatment outcomes, and experiences with healthcare. Examples of PROMs include:

  • The Short Form 36 (SF-36) Health Survey assesses overall health status and specific aspects of health, such as physical function and mental health.
  • The European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) questionnaire assesses health status in five domains: mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression.
  • The Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire (CRQ) assesses the impact of chronic respiratory disease on a patient’s quality of life.

Examples of PREMs include:

  • The Picker Patient Experience Questionnaire (PPEQ) assesses patients’ experiences with communication, information, and involvement in their care.
  • The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey assesses patients’ experiences with communication, responsiveness, and overall satisfaction with their hospital stay.
  • The General Practice Assessment Questionnaire (GPAQ) assesses patients’ experiences with communication, continuity, and overall satisfaction with their primary care provider.

Potential limitations with using PROMs and PREMs

While these tools are widely used in healthcare research and practice to collect patient-reported information on health status, treatment outcomes, and experiences, they suffer from many limitations including poor patient experience and difficulty to access. 

Almost a decade back NCBI researchers pointed out in this biomedical research paper, the common difficulties with these tools.

However, there are several potential limitations to consider when using these tools.

  1. Response bias: Patients may not accurately or honestly report their symptoms, experiences, or perceptions due to social desirability bias, recall bias, or other factors. It can lead to inaccurate or unreliable results.
  2. Limited generalizability: PROMs and PREMs are often developed and validated for specific populations or conditions, which can limit their applicability to other populations or settings.
  3. Limited comparability: Different PROMs and PREMs may use different question formats, response scales, or scoring methods, making it challenging to compare results across studies or settings.
  4. Limited interpretability: PROMs and PREMs may only capture some aspects of health or experience, and results may be difficult to interpret or apply in clinical practice.
  5. Limited responsiveness: Some PROMs and PREMs may not be sensitive enough to detect small changes in health status or experience over time, which can limit their ability to track progress or evaluate the effectiveness of interventions.
  6. Time-consuming: Administering and scoring PROMs and PREMs can be time-consuming and require specialized training, which can be a limitation in practice settings.

The Future of PROMs and PREMs in Healthcare

The use of PROMs and PREMs in healthcare is expected to become more widespread in the future, as they provide valuable insights into patients’ health status, treatment outcomes, and experiences with healthcare. In the future, we expect to see more widespread use of PROMs and PREMs in clinical practice and increased use of electronic and mobile platforms to administer and collect data.

One crucial area of future development is the integration of PROMs and PREMs into electronic health records (EHRs) and other clinical systems. It will allow for a more seamless collection of patient-reported data and an improved ability to track patients’ progress over time and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions.

Another area of future development is leveraging natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) techniques to analyze data from these tools. These techniques can help identify patterns and insights in large and complex datasets and support clinical decision-making and population health management.

Softbrik Content Team has published several posts on the various facets capturing patient feedback information for surveys, EHRs and other health system, available in our article section.

The use of PROMs and PREMs in research is also expected to increase, as they provide a valuable source of patient-reported data for studies on health outcomes, quality of life, and patient experiences. With the increasing number of PROMs and PREMs available, selecting the appropriate tool will be important to ensure that the results are relevant and generalizable.

Overall, PROMs and PREMs are expected to play an increasingly important role in healthcare in the future, providing valuable insights into patients’ health status, treatment outcomes, and experiences with healthcare and supporting the development of more patient-centered, effective, and efficient healthcare systems.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are a PREM and PROM?

A PREM (Patient-Reported Experience Measure) is a tool used to collect information directly from patients about their experiences with healthcare, such as communication, responsiveness, and overall satisfaction with their care. A PROM (Patient-Reported Outcome Measure) is a tool to collect information directly from patients about their health status, treatment outcomes, and functional status.

What are examples of patient-reported outcome measures?

Patient-reported outcome measures include questionnaires assessing pain, fatigue, physical function, and quality of life. Here are a few examples of PROMs that are commonly used in healthcare:

  • Pain Assessment
  • Quality of Life Assessment
  • Symptoms Assessment
  • Functionality Assessment

What is PREM used for?

PREM is used for various purposes, including evaluating the effectiveness of medical treatments, monitoring the progression of a disease, and assessing the impact of a health condition on a patient’s quality of life. It can also identify areas where patients may need additional support or resources, such as physical therapy or counseling.