Flaw of the Patient-Reported Outcomes

In the field of healthcare, data plays a unique role and has an exceptional value. The example of such vital and essential information includes patient-reported outcomes. They include preferences and reports on the medical care received, attitudes to health, and the results of seeking clinical care. Indicators are a crucial aspect when contacting a doctor and providing medical services. Moreover, the information that patients report can help identify interventions that will improve patient outcomes. However, there are some flaws in this system that need to be investigated for further elimination. The measures reported by patients can help clinicians identify interventions that will improve patient outcomes.

Before proceeding to consider the shortcomings associated with patient-reported outcomes, it is necessary to gain an understanding of this concept. Mercieca-Bebber et al. (2018) state that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration defines it as “any report of the status of a patient’s health condition that comes directly from the patient, without interpretation of the patient’s response by a clinician or anyone else” (p. 354). These data may include symptoms of the disease, satisfaction with the experience of accessing the services of medical institutions, following prescribed treatment, or a general attitude to taking medications.

Patient-reported outcomes are used to guide patient-oriented care, as well as decision-making and policy implementation in healthcare. The main positive aspect of the concept under study is the fact that it contributes to the improvement of the above-mentioned processes in the context of data-driven care. To obtain the most satisfactory and productive results, it is necessary to be convinced that the information provided by patients should be accurate, valid, accessible, and reusable. Only under these conditions will support patient care, research in the field of medical care, and general improvement of the quality of services to sick people contribute.

Difficulties and shortcomings that may be associated with Patient-reported outcomes are the primary concern and a topic for detailed consideration. One of the disadvantages of this concept is the doubt that the data received from patients will be used for their benefit. This is caused by the fact that many clinics stop accessing and applying data about their clients and use other sources to conduct their activities. Thus, there is a clear need for changes in the system of medical data and their use. However, the financial component becomes an obstacle on this path. Further, due to the inability to support this initiative, many medical organizations may significantly lose their performance indicators. Moreover, the reason for obtaining data from patients may be that many prefer to give a medical specialist false information about their experience related to seeing a doctor (Chang et al., 2019). It can also have immeasurably detrimental consequences for the health care system. Thus, when providing incorrect data, multiple clinical errors may occur associated with the wrong prescription of drugs or therapy, which can only harm patients.

Therefore, this scientific work dealt with the consideration of such a concept as patient-reported outcomes. This concept consists of the information that the patient provides when seeking medical help from clinical specialists. The data may include previous experience of going to a doctor, attitude to medicinal and therapeutic interventions, or the duration of tolerated diseases. This is precious data, but they have their flaws. Henceforth, patients may lie to a medical provider, or specialists themselves may neglect the data received. For these reasons, the healthcare system may suffer severe negative consequences.


Chang, E. M., Gillespie, E. F., & Shaverdian, N. (2019). Truthfulness in patient-reported outcomes: factors affecting patients’ responses and impact on data quality. Patient Related Outcome Measures, 10, 171. Web.

Mercieca-Bebber, R., King, M. T., Calvert, M. J., Stockler, M. R., & Friedlander, M. (2018). The importance of patient-reported outcomes in clinical trials and strategies for future optimization. Patient Related Outcome Measures, 9, 353. Web.

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