John E. Ware, Jr., PhD, an international leader in the field of health outcomes assessment, has joined UMass Medical School as Chief of Outcomes Measurement Science and professor in the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences (QHS). Dr. Ware will collaborate with clinical scientists to develop standardized health surveys and technologies for the evaluation of disease burden and treatment effectiveness in population-based studies and in health care at large.
“Dr. Ware will join in our mission to advance the understanding and application of patient-reported outcomes,” said Catarina I. Kiefe, MD, PhD, chair and professor of QHS and professor of medicine. “His team will be instrumental in the development of next-generation health assessment tools and application technologies that can be used to correlate outcomes with cost.”
Used in a wide variety of settings, patient-reported outcome (PRO) surveys provide quantitative information regarding the physical and mental well-being of patients and populations. As health care professionals search for methods and measures to interpret outcomes, the Division of Outcomes Measurement Science will be enhancing and standardizing these metrics. “Similar to how thermometers were standardized hundreds of years ago, outcomes metrics can provide a measurement scale for population survey results while studies of new treatments and patient health assessments in everyday medical care can be compared and interpreted,” said Ware.
Ware comes to UMass Medical School from QualityMetric Incorporated, which he founded in 1997 to expand the application and utility of health survey tools. During his 12-year tenure at QualityMetric, he served as CEO, chairman of the board and chief science officer. Under his direction, QualityMetric developed enhanced versions of various health and disease-specific outcomes survey instruments and improved technologies for survey administration and data reporting.
Prior to establishing QualityMetric, Ware served for 12 years as senior scientist at The Health Institute, New England Medical Center (NEMC), Boston, where he was principal investigator for the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS). During this time, he created the SF-36® Health Survey and other tools which are now widely used to document disease burden and treatment effectiveness across therapeutic areas. Since then, Ware’s novel work has had a substantial impact on the field of quality-of-life research, leading to the 2003 President’s Award from the International Society of Quality of Life Research.
“I’m gratified to be joining an institution with an outstanding reputation for forward-thinking research,” said Ware. “In collaboration with UMass Medical School’s clinical scientists, we will be developing Internet-based survey methodologies to assess the efficacy of clinical research and to offer health care the advantage of practical, consumer-focused health surveys.”
Ware is one of the most widely cited outcomes researchers and has published more than 400 peer-reviewed articles, receiving the 2003 Outstanding Article of the Year Award from the International Society for Quality of Life Research.