Objectives: Population ageing and the increasing burden of chronic conditions challenge traditional metrics of assessing the efficacy of health care interventions and as a consequence policy and planning. Using chronic heart failure (CHF) as an exemplar this manuscript seeks to describe the importance of patient-reported outcomes to inform policy decisions. Methods: The method of an integrative review has been used to identify patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in assessing CHF outcomes. Using the Innovative Care for Chronic Conditions the case for developing a metric to incorporate PROs in policy planning, implementation and evaluation is made. Results: In spite of the increasing use of PROs in assessing CHF outcomes, their incorporation in the policy domain is limited. Conclusions: Effective policy and planning is of health care services is dependent on the impact on the individual and their families. Epidemiological transitions and evolving treatment paradigms challenge traditional metrics of morbidity and mortality underscoring the importance of assessing PROs. �� 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.