This month the Economist hosted the annual War on Cancer (Europe) event in London. One of the key themes for this year was the role of patient outcomes and experience data in shaping research into cancer and the delivery of cancer care.
The conference explored the importance of considering patients’ views of their treatment, known as patient reported outcome measures (PROMS). Experts at the conference explained how patients’ priorities no longer include just survival, but also quality of life during treatment and beyond.
Dr Vivek Muthu, who chaired the discussion, added that even the language used by physicians when discussing cancer can affect how patients live with the disease.
There was broad agreement that PROMS data must be gathered and analysed in order to help doctors and future patients to discuss and choose the right care path for them. However, it was acknowledged that the NHS has some significant technological hurdles to overcome for this to be achieved on a national scale.
Then there is the issue of standardisation. At the moment, in the absence of a standardised set of outcomes or agreed ways of analysing them, comparing PROMS data from different cancer types can be like comparing apples and oranges.
Whatever the challenges, it is clear that the aim of future cancer care will be to deliver more personalised treatment which fits the patients’ lifestyle and personal priorities.
How can MSB help?
For 30 years, MSB has provided insightful patient experience research, including PROMS and PREMS, to NHS and private healthcare organisations. To find out more about our work, visit the 'Patient Experience' page on our website - http://www.msbconsultancy.com/patient-experience.html