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Parameter estimates

A parameter estimate provides a statistical approximation of specific measure that describes a population. Point estimates provide a single value whereas confidence intervals provide a range of values within which the population estimate is most likely to occur.

Patient-reported outcome

A patient-reported outcome (PRO) is a status report of a patient’s health condition, or health behavior that comes directly from the patient, without interpretation of the patient’s response by a clinician or anyone else. This definition reflects the key domains of

  • health-related quality of life (including functional status)
  • symptoms and symptom burden (e.g., pain, fatigue)
  • health behaviors (e.g., smoking, diet, exercise)

(Adapted from the Food and Drug Administration. (2009). Guidance for industry PRO measures: Use in medical product development to support labeling claims.

Patient-reported outcome measure

A patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) is an “instrument, scale, or single-item measure used to assess the patient-reported outcome concept as perceived by the patient, obtained by directly asking the patient to self-report” (p. 27). National Quality Forum. (2013, January). PROs in performance measurement.

Patient-reported outcome-based performance measure

A patient-reported outcome-based performance measure (PRO-PM) is a performance measure that is based on patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) data aggregated for an accountable healthcare entity. Measured entities collect the data directly from the patient using the PROM tool, which can be an instrument, scale, or single-item measure.

Population, Intervention, Comparator group, Outcomes, Time interval, Settings (PICOTS)

Population, Intervention, Comparator group, Outcomes, Time interval, Settings (PICOTS) is a framework for delineating clinical questions that facilitates identification of relevant research evidence. For example, among adults with non-cancer related pain (Population) who receive an opioid pain medication (Intervention) versus a non-opioid pain medication or placebo (Comparator) what are the effects on ratings of pain, functioning, and quality of life (Outcome) with 3 months of treatment (Time) in outpatient settings of care (Setting)? McMaster University Health Sciences Library (n.d.). Resources for evidence-based practice: Forming questions. Retrieved June 7, 2022, from

Process measure

A process measure is a measure that focuses on steps that should be followed to provide good care. There should be a scientific basis for believing that the process, when executed well, will increase the probability of achieving a desired outcome.


A proportion is a score derived by dividing the number of cases that meet a criterion for quality (the numerator) by the number of eligible cases within a given time frame (the denominator) where the numerator cases are a subset of the denominator cases (for example, percentage of eligible women with a mammogram performed in the last year).