Demand for PROMs tech skyrockets

4 minute read

SA Health joins a positive global trend as South Australia’s new self-reported measures platform goes live.

Outcome-based funding models are on the rise globally as specialist tech providers get tapped on the shoulder for PREMs and PROMs platforms. 

It’s a trend that puts the patient voice on a level with healthcare professionals and has a significant impact on the individual patient in their care journey, said Tamaryn Hankinson, managing director and co-founder of The Clinician.  

SA Health partnered with The Clinician last year to implement ZEDOC, a platform that records Patient Reported Experience Measures (PREMs) and Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) in real time. 

ZEDOC has now gone live in The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide, the first of over 40 hospitals across the state which will eventually use the system for all services. 

Ms Hankinson said the whole transition to outcome-based/value-based funding models was expected to happen a lot more quickly but the market had been slowed by the covid pandemic. Now, things have changed, she told HSD. 

“The global market that we are operating in is completely different post-covid. We are seeing tenders literally come out every week or two weeks,” she said. 

Although the demand is accelerating overseas, Australia is also starting to push the trend. 

“I’ve been contacted about three private tenders in Australia this week. Previously, you’d be lucky to get one a year.  

“So, the Australian market is really moving towards value-based/outcome-based funding models,” Ms Hankinson said. 

South Australia’s decision to go digital with patient-reported measures was spearheaded by the Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health in July 2021. The program aimed to empower patients to tell healthcare professionals about the impact of their health condition on their life and their experience of the health system.  

SA Health chose the South Australian Medical Imaging (SAMI) service, at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, to kick off the implementation. Although the move to ZEDOC is a shift in how patient data is captured, culturally, health professionals at SAMI have a track record of valuing patient input. 

Adjunct Professor Dr Gabrielle Cehic is a nuclear medicine physician and oncologist at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital. She said they have been collecting PROMs for some years on paper.  

“(However), we anticipate that the availability of dashboards and reporting in ZEDOC will truly add value by making key patient quality-of-life information available to the entire service’s caregiving team, in real time,” she said. 

Real-time reporting and use of data is the game changer, Ms Hankinson said. 

“Historically, when outcome measures were collected the data would be aggregated and looked retrospectively. That meant that individual patients didn’t really get the benefits – the benefits faded into much larger quality improvement processes. 

“By actually connecting the whole state, engaging with the patients, collecting the data and making it available in real time, it really has a significant impact on the care of that individual patient in the in their entire care journey,” Ms Hankinson said. 

ZEDOC is a New Zealand solution being used by a number of clients in Australia including Victoria Traffic and Accident Commission which uses it to enhance recovery of patients. Cabrini Health and The Alfred in Victoria also use ZEDOC to automate the collection and analysis of health data from colorectal cancer patients. 

Globally, The Clinician’s customer base includes Saudi Arabia, Singapore and a market that is scaling up in Canada. 

Their entry into the North American market was “quite straightforward”, Ms Hankinson said. 

“We were approached by PowerHealth, which is part of Telstra Health, because they had a customer who wanted a sophisticated and scalable outcome measuring platform.” 

The Clinician won Singapore’s national health contract and rolled out ZEDOC in 2021. The Ministry of Health Singapore uses Sunshine, the same electronic health record (EHR) as SA Health. Singapore has integrated ZEDOC into their Sunshine EHR, a task also on SA Health’s project plan. 

Although The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is South Australia’s first cab off the rank with the new platform, local health networks across the state are starting to put up their hands for implementation in 2024. Services who would like to participate are encouraged to contact the PRMs Program for more information. 

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