Why a 350% increase in PROMS uptake is a win for patients and surgeons alike_

Author: Professor Andreas Obermair, 19th September 2023


Surgeons’ uptake of PROMS in SurgicalPerformance has shot up by 350 percent in the last 12 months. This makes me smile.

Because it means many more surgeons are now utilising PROMS surveys to capture the patient perspective compared to the same time last year. And that means that surgeons are starting to ‘get it’.

“Get what?”, you may ask. Well, here is my perspective.

Like the vast majority of surgeons, doctors, nurses and health care workers, I care deeply about my patients. I want the best for them and am regularly not even satisfied with that. Hence my obsession with research and finding ways to innovate beyond current best practice, to find a better, kinder ‘next practice’. As part of that, I am keenly interested in knowing whether I am succeeding (or missing the mark a bit). Hence, hearing from my patients about their perspective of the healthcare I have provided is essential to truly knowing how I am doing.

To hear that I have done great and scored top marks for patient satisfaction from my patient, is what I am wanting to hear every time. However, hearing about a patient who is not optimally happy is far more important.

I remember several phone calls over the years with dissatisfied patients but one in particular stands out: My patient was a specialist’s wife and she gave me a 6/10 on patient satisfaction. I found that unsettling because I thought she had a great outcome and a seamless recovery from her procedure. When I called 6 weeks post-surgery to enquire about what went wrong, she mentioned a question that I asked her in the morning after the day of her procedure. She misinterpreted my question at the time – but I had no way of knowing. We clarified the issue during this call and at the end of the call she said she’d give me a 12 out of 10 if she could make her choice again. A happier patient than if she would have been happy with her care to start with. This is the thing to ‘get’.

That simply asking for their perspective, and then following up with them, is an immensely powerful way to make your patient feel more comfortable (less concerned, scared, alone) in their post-operative recovery, that leads to beautiful doctor-patient relationships… and less stressed doctors!

It makes me happy to see the sudden uptake in surgeons who are discovering that, or are about to. It makes me happier still to think of the multiplier effect this will have on patient happiness.

Bar Graph increase of PROMS usage


The number of surgeons using PROMS has increased from 10 per month to 40 per month. And the number of surveys sent has increased from approximately 100 per month to 450. And this is just the first roll of the snowball!

The increasing number of surgeons subscribing to SurgicalPerformance and PROMS is a clear sign not only that surgeons care about their patients, but that the level and intensity of the care factor is increasing with no sign that this is going to stop anytime soon. .

The cohort of surgeons who subscribe to the big idea of checking on and quantifying their own performance to deliver better care is steadily growing! As a surgeon I want to be in control of my patient’s care; and if I can’t be in control, at least I want to know how this relationship is going. And if it’s not going into the right direction, at least I need to know first.

It makes me happy to see the benefits of the platform (to patients and doctors alike) surging. And we welcome any and all like-minded surgeons to join and benefit.

Click here for a 10-case Free Trial.