American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Patient Reported Outcomes

Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) are outcome measures that are directly reported by the patient to help better understand a treatment’s efficacy. PROs have been used at many facilities to assist surgeons in evaluating their practices. The ABOS has begun using PROs to assist in the Certification and Recertification processes. Collecting PROs will also contribute to a surgeon’s continual practice improvement.

For the Part II Oral Examination, Candidates are required, for patients ages 12 and older, to enter each patient’s email address pre- (or peri-) operatively into the ABOS Scribe Case List System, unless the patient opts out. The ABOS will then contact the patient, via email, upon registration as well as at six and 12 months post-operatively. The email will link the patient to PROMIS Physical Function and Pain Interference surveys. Part II Candidates can get more detailed information on PROs and how they enter the information, by logging into their password protected portal and clicking on the Part II tab.

Frequently Asked Questions

The ABOS will send automated emails to the patient email addresses with a link to the PROMIS Physical Function and Pain Interference assessment surveys upon registration and at approximately 6 and 12 months post-operatively. Patients will be sent a reminder email if they do not respond. The email addresses will be kept confidential and will not be used for any purpose other than this ABOS activity.

The ABOS understands that not all patients may wish to participate in the survey. If a patient tells you or your office staff that he or she does not want to participate, do not provide the patient’s email address and check the “Patient opts out” box. A patient who declines to provide his or her email address will not be sent a survey. Please inform your patients that their email address will not be shared, sold, or used for any purpose other than this ABOS activity. The ABOS considers patient input to be valuable and expects that you will encourage your patients to participate in this important activity. A Candidate with a significant number of “patient opt outs” may be reviewed by the Credentials Committee for eligibility to sit for the examination.

Those patients for whom we receive a valid email address, but do not respond to the initial solicitation at one of the three time points (baseline, 6 months, 12 months), will receive a follow-up solicitation. If there is no response to the second solicitation, the ABOS will make no further contact at that time point.

The questions can vary depending on how the patient responds. However, you can register yourself as a patient to see what the survey looks like. Just remember to delete this case before finalizing your case list.

No, patients do not see their results.

No, surgeons will not know which patients have completed a PRO assessment until the aggregate surgeon specific report is provided to the Candidate by the ABOS after the PRO follow-up data have been collected.

Yes, there is a separate login for patient registration for the PRO, and a Candidate’s staff member can enter the required information.

The Candidate can access Scribe from the password-protected portal at and will see which patients have been registered through the PRO registration page. It is the responsibility of the surgeon to provide oversight of his/her staff on this process.

Log in at and click on the Part II tab. Click on the Scribe button and then find the record that was added with an incorrect email address. Delete that record. Login to the Patient PRO Registration Page using the Login information provided on your Part II tab. Register the patient with the correct email address, and the PRO survey will be sent to the correct address.

On or after the new date of surgery, log in at and click on the Part II tab. Click on the Scribe button, and then find the patient and change the date of surgery. If the new surgery date is still within April-September, the patient is still enrolled in PRO collection. If the new surgery date is outside the collection period, delete the case. All patients receive up to two preoperative/perioperative emails: one on patient registration and another reminder if they haven’t completed it.

IF the surgery is canceled, go into Scribe and delete the Case and the patient will not receive any additional emails.

If you cannot obtain a medical record number from your hospital, use one assigned by your office. Then, once it has been assigned by the hospital, change it in Scribe.

The ABOS has launched the program, on a voluntary basis, for those who passed the 2018 Part II Examination.

Patients must consent to the submission of their email address. In addition, the use of patient emails for the PRO (PROMIS) survey is permissible as part of certification, licensing, and credentialing “health care” activities under HIPAA. This information, as well as survey responses, will be covered by the same business associate agreement that covers all of the patient identifiable information collected by the ABOS in support of ABOS Board Certification and Maintenance of Certification programs.

Outcome data have been a part of the Case List required elements for many years. This PRO assessment is an improvement in the collection of these data. This process should not add significant burden. Staff may submit the patient’s email address on the Scribe system at the time surgery is scheduled. The patients will submit their survey responses directly. The process takes the patient 1-2 minutes to complete. Other aspects of the Case List have been streamlined and several data points that were previously collected have been removed. We are committed to streamlining the process of Case List selection and entry.

This program will allow many candidates the opportunity to participate in a national, specialty-focused, computerized adaptive, Patient Reported Outcome program which is patient-centric and with very low patient burden. The physician-specific aggregate data provided by the patients will be available to the surgeon for self-regulated quality improvement. If an institution has a PRO program in place, the institution’s PRO program data may be an acceptable substitute for the ABOS in the future. In addition, the ABOS and ABMS are working with CMS to investigate the possibility that this participation would qualify for credit in the MACRA program.

The questionnaire is also available in Spanish. Please indicate if the patient prefers Spanish when completing the form.

For patients undergoing multiple operations during the PRO collection period, we would prefer that you enter the patient email address for each operation so that the patient may self-report physical function and pain prior to each surgery, but please use your best judgment to balance this goal with the burden on your patient.  As a guide, if a patient undergoes a subsequent surgery four weeks or more after the prior surgery, it would be reasonable to enter the email address for the second surgery in order to obtain an updated PRO; if the patient undergoes a subsequent surgery fewer than four weeks after the prior surgery and the patient’s email was entered for the prior surgery, it would be reasonable to opt out the patient from completing an updated PRO in order to reduce patient burden.

Dear Patient:

On behalf of your orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. xxx, please click the link below to answer a few standard questions about how you are doing.



The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
400 Silver Cedar Court
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514
(919) 929-7103

Enter your office/practice MRN. After the surgery, go back into Scribe and change it to the hospitals MRN.


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