Patient Reported Measures Program

Learn about our Patient Reported Measures Program that captures the perspectives of patients on their experiences and outcomes of their cancer care.

Patient Reported Measures Program

Measuring the experiences of patients and reporting back to the health system enables cancer services and health professionals to better understand the unique needs of people affected by cancer.

Understanding a patient’s perspective throughout each stage of their cancer experience can enable more personalised treatment and drive improvements in the quality of care provided by cancer services.

What are patient-reported measures?

Patient-report measures (PRMs) capture the perspectives of patients on their experiences and outcomes of their cancer care.

Gathering patient-reported measures involves asking cancer patients about their experiences and outcomes, which ultimately measures their overall wellbeing.

What are we doing?

We are working with cancer centres across NSW to implement an electronic patient-reported measures (PRMs) solution.

The solution is able to electronically collect information about a patient’s experience, and provide this data for inclusion in an individual’s medical record.

This information will then be available for health care providers to review at a patient’s appointment.

The solution also aims to link patients to relevant self-care information, based on their survey answers, where appropriate.

How does it work?

  • Patients will be asked to complete a questionnaire using a mobile tablet device when they attend for assessment in a cancer service.
  • Survey results are viewed by the patient’s health provider and discussed with the patient during their consultation.
  • Patients are linked to relevant self-care information.
  • Survey results are stored within an electronic medical record and used to personalise treatment and drive improvements in the quality of care provided.

The surveys being used are the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS)1, Distress Thermometer (DT)2 and a problem checklist.

These have been chosen because they are validated tools which are already being used internationally, and by a large number of NSW local health districts (LHDs).

How are we doing this?

We are working with patients and staff from cancer centres to ensure the PRMs solution is practical and user-friendly. 

The solution is currently being trialled within three local health districts, before being rolled out across the state by mid to late 2019.

Information and support is being provided to clinicians about the PRMs solution and how to incorporate it into existing workflow.

What are the benefits of PRMs?

What are the benefits of PRMs?

  • It facilitates communication and shared decision making between patients and health providers.
  • It provides the ability to identify and triage what matters most to patients.
  • It allows for earlier integration of support services.
  • Survey results provide insight into patient satisfaction and support clinical decision making.
  • It informs a continuous cycle of quality improvement across the NSW health system.

What has informed this project?

The Institute has funded two research projects to inform the most effective approach to gathering patient-reported information about cancer care. 

Insights from these projects will help us understand the experiences and outcomes of people living with cancer, and the degree to which health providers accept and adhere to best practice (e.g. clinical pathways).

How are patient-reported measures captured outside of cancer centres?

The NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) and eHealth have put in place a statewide PRMs solution. However, this does not currently include cancer services.

We are working with these agencies to integrate these PRMs solutions in the future.

More information

More information

Get in touch:

If you would like further information regarding the implementation of an electronic patient-reported measures (PRMs) solution across NSW cancer centres, please contact

Learn more about Patient Reported Measures in NSW cancer services


Useful articles:


  1. Watanabe SM, Nekolaichuk CL, and Beaumont C. The Edmonton Symptom Assessment System, a proposed tool for distress screening in cancer patients: development and refinement. Psychooncology, 2012.21(9):977–to95.
  2. National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for distress management V.2.2016. 2016.