by Nancy Wicklin
This article discusses how a smartphone app (called Orchestra) is providing better collaboration between providers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and their patients with chronic illnesses. It’s a great example of how to incorporate patient-reported outcomes into clinical care. I realize that not everyone is good at or even wants to document their daily health happenings, but as a nurse, I have seen many patients and their caregivers do just that. These people often come to their provider with documentation in hand, almost as a way to justify a complaint of “something’s not right” or “I’ve noticed lately that this has changed.” Really good health historians can even point to the exact date when they first noticed something was awry! Just as we’ve moved from paper to electronic health records in the clinical setting, it seems like a natural progression to help patients digitize their own health observations and measurements so that such data can be incorporated into the patient’s clinical care. In fact, a pilot program recently mandated by CMS will reimburse providers for collecting such patient-reported outcomes.