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What matters to patients

In order to determine what matters to patients we need to ask them. One important way of doing this is by looking at Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs). PROMs are structured assessments that enable people to score themselves on their current symptoms (condition-specific PROM) and quality of life (generic PROM). On their own, they may provide useful communication between a person and their healthcare team to support direct care, or enable a person to track their own progress or recovery.

We should therefore make sure that we do not just view outcomes as an end point. They can also be a milestone or status at a point in time for an individual to report how they are faring - in areas of their life that matter to them, and in a structured way. Aggregated PROMs can provide a useful needs assessment, helpful in determining local or national service development.

There are some great examples across Wales where the collection of PROMs is informing and transforming the way healthcare is delivered to achieve better outcomes that matter to patients. However, this information is not collected across all clinical areas. If we truly want to make NHS Wales a value-based healthcare system, then we need to create the infrastructure to consistently capture the right data and turn it in to useful information that enables both patients and healthcare professionals to make the right decisions. Supporting the delivery of this infrastructure is a major part of what the Welsh Value in Health Centre is doing across Wales.