PROMs are a detailed, record-level dataset that can be used, alongside other datasets, in order to research possible factors, such as surgical approach or implant type, which may affect a patient's outcome.
Data quality and completeness for PROMs are high, especially for patient demographics and identifiers. This ensures that the risk of linking a patient's questionnaire to the wrong hospital episode is very low.
Care should be taken when making comparisons using PROMs data. Whilst it is fair to compare scores across organisations for the same procedure and measure, it is not a valid use of PROMs data to compare scores for the same measure across procedures. For example, making a decision to reduce funding for knee replacement procedures in favour of funding more hip replacements based on the EQ-5D is not a valid use of PROMs data.
Currently PROMs covers only two elective procedures. Although they are high volume, they represent only a small percentage of a typical hospital’s elective caseload. Care should be taken to not judge an organisation's overall performance based on PROMs data alone.