Automate to improve ePRO workflow

Automated functionality can increase efficiency, productivity, and quality of ePRO reports. Automated functions typically perform routine activities with less variability and are less subject to typographical error caused by manual data entry. Furthermore, the ability to auto-populate entry fields can provide an efficient means of data entry and clinical notetaking compared with manual input. As a result, automation that minimizes direct human computer interaction can make more efficient use of provider and support staff time while ensuring data quality and consistency in workflow.

Strategy A
Automate ePRO reporting functions to improve efficiencies in user workflow

Automating functions of ePRO reports, such as selecting, populating, calculating, and reminding, can improve usability and reduce the workflow burdens associated with the use of ePRO reports. There are several ways to automate functionality to improve data flow and user workflow, such as:

  • auto-populating fields based on patient EHR data or other previously collected data (e.g., intervention type/date)
  • auto-calculating PRO scores, sub scores, and associated statistics
  • automating the archiving of PRO scores to accomodate future retrieval
  • automating patient reminders for PRO collection
  • automating patient messages and directives (e.g., care instructions based on PRO scores)
  • automating orders by supplying smart sets of ePROs to be delivered to the patient that adapt to the specific provider or patient situation (e.g., conditional automation)

Identification and the use of defaults to introduce efficiency through auto-population can create challenges, since defaults are infrequently overwritten (i.e., manually replacing default data). This can be a problem when exceptions to the default exist (e.g., updated patient data) and failure to overwrite can result in inaccurate information. Some reasons why defaults may not be overwritten include:

  • conditions mandating overwriting the default are not apparent to the user
  • user assumption that defaults are always correct, fear of changing defaults, or paying attention only to fields where direct input is required

Quotes from Provider Interviews:

“Some sort of pre-processing that could happen with it so that it’s teed up a little bit better for the provider to say, yeah, your blood pressure numbers are still elevated, therefore I’m going to change this medication…and again the more electronic that you can make it the better…I can definitely imagine ways to make it slicker with less involvement of the providers from actively having to manage it.”

“It [the ePRO system] knows what I’m going to be looking for, it’s presenting those key’s a step ahead of me in terms of clinical decision-making. It’s got the right timeframe and it’s showing me that I’ve gone three months and I’ve never done a PHQ9 before.”