Answered: PRO Vendor Checklist

Picking a vendor to help you with patient-reported outcomes doesn’t have to be overwhelming or confusing. That’s why we created our handy-dandy PRO Vendor Checklist – to help you ask the right questions when evaluating third-party outcome vendors.

Here are CODE’s answers, which you can also download as a PDF.

Q: Can you describe your implementation process?

  • Who needs to be involved and how much time do they need to dedicate?

Once the contract is signed, CODE will have you collecting outcomes in 30 days. Then we’ll spend the next 60 days perfecting the process with an operational or clinical manager who monitors personnel and workflow, and an IT member. (By the way, your IT team will love us because their level of involvement is minimal compared to most integrations.)

CODE works with one implementation point of contact from your organization directly during the implementation phase. For implementation, that person can anticipate a 90-minute kick-off call, then an hourly call each week for the next 30 days. After that, CODE handles the whole process, outside of clinic, so you won’t even know we’re there.

Q: Can you advise on what PRO tools we should use?

  • Is there information available for each tool?

Absolutely! Our research team lives and breathes PROs. We’re completely up-to-date with the latest and greatest information and studies regarding PRO tools, which is reflected within the CODE Standard Sets, seen below:

When utilizing these modules, clients are able to quickly access meaningful benchmarking right from the very beginning. However, if there are requested modifications to the CODE’s Standard Set (seen below), we can work with you.

Q: Can you describe the workflow as it relates to patients?

  • How do you contact them?
  • What methods are available for patients to complete the PRO?
  • Do you conduct phone surveys and reminder calls?
  • If so, what is the cost?

First, we work with you to create patient communication templates, using your organization’s branding, just to give patients a heads up that we’ll be contacting them via email, SMS, or by phone, in order to monitor their recovery and improvement.

We’ve found that 94% complete surveys online because they are able to complete it on any device they are comfortable with – a phone, tablet, or computer. To top it off, phone call reminders (real humans, not machines!), and phone survey administration is included as part of our service.

Q: What percentage of patients complete the PRO?

  • What’s the pre-op capture rate? The post-op collection rate?
  • How is the capture rate calculated?

CODE is very proud of our patient-response rate: We maintain 80% – 90% across all intervals. We determine our capture rate with the following:

Patient Response  Rate  = # who took the survey /  # of Eligible Patients   

For example, let’s say Dr. X completes 100 surgeries, but only 85 of them meet CODE’s eligibility requirements. Of those 85 eligible patients, let’s say 70 took the survey. Therefore the survey capture rate is 70/85 = 82%. However, there are more factors at play with calculating capture rates, which we are more than happy to discuss with you in detail. All you have to do is ask, or you read about it more in-depth on our website.

Q: Can you describe the process for accessing/exporting raw data?

  • How is data organized and what format is it in: xls, csv, etc.?

CODE’s back-end was developed with research in mind, we’ve made it easy to access and share your data. Raw data can be accessed in real-time as a .CSV file using CODE’s Survey Export tool.

Q: Can you describe your reporting capabilities?

  • What is available in real-time?
  • Do you offer custom reporting or benchmarking?
  • Is there a sample or demo?

Clients can see the results of PRO surveys as soon as a patient completes it. These individual snapshots facilitate shared decision-making with the patient.

Custom reports are available for any level of user to keep everyone in your organization as involved as they want to be. Our real-time benchmarking reports allow for comprehensive comparisons against other providers, your organization, and national benchmarks set in the CODE Orthopedic Registry. If any reports you’re looking for are not already available, we would work with you to develop what you are looking for.

View our sample reports:

Q: Do you integrate with EHR and other PM/surgery scheduling systems?

  • If so, what is the cost of integration?

Yes, we integrate directly with all required major EHR/PM software systems at no additional cost.

Q: Can you describe your customer support model?

  • Is someone always readily available to help with any questions we might have?

We aren’t robots. Our easily accessible client operations managers are real life humans that will keep a meticulous eye on all of your data to make sure all patients are enrolled, and that capture rate is reflective of CODE’s high internal standards. We’re also happy to provide training to staff or administrators any time.

Q: Are you a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR)?

  • Can you submit our data to other registries on our behalf, like CMS, CJR, MIPS?
  • If so, what is the cost?

Yes. We are a QCDR for CMS, we handle data collection and submission for CJR hospitals, and can submit data on these measures on behalf of eligible providers and group practices as part of MIPS. We also work with registries like AJRR and MARCQI, and have created special Data Export Wizards to make formatting the data a cinch. All this at no additional cost.

Q: How much does it cost?

  • Am I paying per provider, per patient, or something else?
  • Will I need extra staff, equipment, or a consultant?
  • Who pays for PRO tools requiring a license?

Our most popular pricing model is per provider, per month, with a one-time set-up cost. CODE handles everything from patient enrollment and data entry to reminder calls and survey administration, so you won’t need any additional employees or hardware to complete surveys. We are not responsible for obtaining licensing information for PRO Surveys, however most of the PRO tools CODE recommends are free! Great!

Q: How long are the terms of your contract?

  • If we aren’t happy with the product, are we able to terminate the contract at any time?
  • If so, what happens to the data when service is discontinued?

When service is discontinued, we work with our client on how they want to share the data and whether or not they want to continue contacting those patients. Protected Health Information (PHI) is owned by the client, and you always have access to download all raw data via the web-based dashboard.