An article published recently in Pulse by Michael Soljak and I examined the use of patient reported outcome measures. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) estimate the effectiveness of healthcare delivered to patients as perceived by the patients themselves. The recent Government White Paper, ‘Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS',2 envisages an increase in the scope and coverage of PROMs in future, starting from April 2011. For providers, PROMs will provide important data for quality improvement, in the form of comparative, casemix-adjusted pre- to post-operative changes in scores. They will also have a role in commissioning. For example, PROMs might be used to identify procedures with little benefit, or subgroups of patients who do not benefit greatly from surgery. This could allow more effective targeting of resources to improve health gain.