SIGNIFICANCE AND POTENTIAL IMPACT
Optimizing PRO data visualization with clinicians’ and patients’ input will improve clinicians’ ability to effectively synthesize and communicate complex data to provide patient-centered clinical management.
Patient-reported outcome measures are not always used to inform discussion with patients
The use of PRO measures to assess patients’ experiences of illness and wellness has been increasing, and may lead to improvements in clinical management, health outcomes, and patient engagement. However, even with PROs integrated into EHRs, clinicians may not always know how to interpret and use the data to inform discussions with patients for shared decision making and clinical management. Equally as important is the patient’s ability to understand the data and engage in decisions about their care.
How PRO data are interpreted is impacted by how they are visually presented
Visually presenting PRO data via EHRs can enhance clinicians’ ability to understand and utilize the data. There are several factors that can impact visual interpretation of data. One factor is that some data metrics represent improvements in patient symptoms when their value increases (e.g., physical function), whereas other metrics indicate improvements by decreasing values (e.g., pain). Another factor is that PRO visualizations often do not provide useful contextual information to help the viewer interpret the scores (e.g., information about changes over time or comparison to other patients).
Co-principal investigators Drs. Heather Gold and Enrico Bertini, with a team of investigators at New York University School of Medicine, are developing and testing PRO visual presentations in the EHR to improve PRO interpretability, usability, and data completion with the ultimate goal of improving clinical care and shared decision making.
Optimizing data visualizations based on clinician and patient input
The team is conducting research based on engineering and human-computer interaction principles to inform optimal data visualization and presentation of orthopedic PROs, including interference of pain in daily life, pain intensity, and limitations of physical function. Focus groups and interviews will be conducted with clinicians and their patients with hip and knee pain or osteoarthritis to understand current perceptions of PROs and preferences for data presentation. This input will inform the development of several prototypes of data visualizations that will then be evaluated by their usefulness, acceptability, and understanding by clinicians and patients.
Ultimately, the investigators hope that this study will improve patient outcomes by accelerating the ability of clinicians to effectively synthesize and communicate complex data to inform patient-centered clinical management for patients, families, and healthcare professionals. While the investigators chose PROs in musculoskeletal condition patients, the study can inform the optimal design of data visualizations for any type of health data.