Measuring surgical outcomes at Mehiläinen

Mehiläinen is a leading provider of private social and healthcare services to individuals and insurance, corporate, and municipal customers in Finland. In order to more effectively monitor the results of hand and orthopedic surgeries at its hospitals, Mehiläinen has rolled out systematic monitoring using patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) and patient-reported experience measures (PREMs).

How it works

The following PROMs are being used to measure results after surgery:

  • The Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire
  • The Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS)
  • The Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM)
  • The Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire

PREMs are being used to measure patient experiences such as the feeling of safety during surgery, the implementation of pain management, and the process of surgical wound healing.

The goal is to gather standardized information from all surgical procedures for use by both physicians and patients. The data will be used to help create a preparatory model for surgery. Recovery data can also be used to encourage patients to be active players in their own care.

Outcomes

The results of the surveys have demonstrated both the usefulness and appropriateness of surgeries performed at Mehiläinen hospitals as well as good patient satisfaction with the process.

Information on the success of the measured treatments is now available to healthcare professionals. For example, attending physicians receive information from the medical record system if a patient's wound has healing problems. Patient-specific PROM scores can also be viewed from the system. The ability to access this type of feedback data has proven to be motivating for physicians, which is important to the success of data-gathering efforts as they have a key role in encouraging patients to complete the questionnaires.

In the future, patients will be able to see the success rate of a given treatment and monitor the progress of the healing process by themselves. Standardized PROMs will also enable comparisons of outcomes both within Finland and across countries to facilitate continuous improvement.