News & Events

September is PAD Awareness Month - Learn How CERTAIN is Improving Care

Did you know September is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Awareness Month? PAD is a disease that affects 7.3 million Americans. PAD most often occurs in the legs and causes plaque to build up in arteries. Over time, plaque can harden and narrow the arteries, limiting the flow of oxygen. Currently, CERTAIN is in the final stages of a comparative effectiveness research (CER) study of PAD that prospectively compares clinical and patient‐reported outcomes (PROs) of medical, surgical, and endovascular interventions for the treatment of claudication – a form of PAD that limits the ability to walk. The overall goal of the study is to better understand best strategies for treatment of patients with PAD, and through the Vascular Interventional Surgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program (VI‐SCOAP) network, to translate findings back into quality initiatives for hospitals to improve overall care delivery. 

The PAD Study enrolled 328 patients across 15 participating partner sites at 11 Washington State hospitals. The final participant is expected to end follow-up in the fall of 2014. As the study comes to a close, CERTAIN will publish findings from the study. Additionally, CERTAIN will make available the Claudication Assessment Tool, which was developed early in the PAD study as researchers noticed a high degree of relevant data was missing or not reported by providers in the medical records. The tool was developed to help facilitate consistent reporting of important data that guide treatment decisions; improve communication between patients with claudication and their providers; and increase patient’s knowledge of modifiable risk factors.

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CERTAIN Investigators and Partners Voted Top Doctors

Five CERTAIN investigators were voted top doctors through a survey of over 1,400 doctors, nurses, and physician assistants in the Seattle area. The survey conducted by Seattle Met magazine asked respondents “If you or a loved one needed medical care, whom would you choose?” Rising to the top of over 13,000 nominations were:

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CERTAIN Approved for $945K Funding Award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

CERTAIN has been approved for a $944,999 funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study patient engagement in research prioritization activities. The study is one of 33 proposals PCORI approved for funding on July 29 to advance the field of patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) and provide patients, healthcare providers, and other clinical decision makers with information that will help them make better-informed choices.

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CERTAIN and SCOAP: High-Quality Data for Improved Healthcare

Quality was the resounding theme of the SCOAP 2014 Annual Statewide meeting on June 4th. CERTAIN serves as a partner for research and development to SCOAP, and the SCOAP Annual Meeting is a venue to share the successes achieved and upcoming developments through the SCOAP and CERTAIN partnership.

SCOAP Medical Director Dr. Ellen Farrokhi addressed an audience of healthcare stakeholders from all over Washington State. In outlining SCOAP’s tremendous accomplishments over the past nine years, she was quick to point out that quality is a long term and continuous process of improvement. Dr. Farrokhi emphasized that standardization and efficiency in care pathways should be the next focus in healthcare - ensuring healthcare providers are using the same methods in order to produce high-quality data.

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Connect with CERTAIN at the SCOAP 2014 Annual Statewide Meeting

CERTAIN is excited to be participating in the SCOAP 2014 Annual Statewide Meeting on Wednesday, June 4th. Bringing together the SCOAP community, this meeting serves as a platform to share the successes achieved by SCOAP and its partners, and to hear about new activities and developments that are underway.

CERTAIN serves as a partner for research and development to SCOAP. Join us at the statewide meeting to learn about what CERTAIN and SCOAP have accomplished together, and how we will continue to partner in the coming year. There are several ways you can engage with CERTAIN throughout the day:

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Patient Advisor Spotlight: Sarah Han

Sarah Han is a CERTAIN Patient Advisor currently working on the Mobile Post-operative Wound Evaluator (mPOWEr) project. mPOWEr is a post-discharge wound surveillance mobile health (mHealth) app that  encourages patients to engage in their wound management, allows surgical providers to monitor their patients post-discharge, and provides a reliable method of patient-provider communication. Sarah met mPOWEr Principal Investigator Dr. Heather Evans when she was volunteering in the Emergency Room at Harborview Medical Center. Sarah is a recent University of Washington graduate who is interested in pursuing a career as a physician, so she was initially interested in opportunities to volunteer on a research project to gain research experience. However, after talking with Dr. Evans about her ongoing research, Sarah became interested in offering a patient perspective to mPOWEr, due to her previous experience with a surgical site infection after her own surgery two years ago.Sarah began collaborating with the mPOWEr team in the Spring of 2013 and has since been involved with design of the mPOWEr application and writing additional funding applications. 

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CERTAIN Seeking Project Manager

CERTAIN has an outstanding opportunity for a full-time Project Manager. The purpose of this position is to provide high-level, research project management for the CERTAIN Strong for Surgery (S4S) program. The Project Manager will oversee day-to-day execution of multiple large dissemination and implementation research projects. The focus of dissemination and implementation research is to close the gap between what we know can maximize the quality of health care and what is currently being delivered in practice and community settings. More present than ever within the research community is the belief that to optimize public health we must not only understand how to create the best interventions, but how to best ensure that they are effectively delivered within clinical and community practice.


CERTAIN's Safe and Sound Launches!


CERTAIN's Safe and Sound collaborative strives to improve the availability, use, and quality of ultrasound for appendicitis in kids. Safe and Sound will increase use of ultrasound as the first imaging study for children with appendicitis by 50% over 1 year by increasing the availability of ultrasound in hospitals, galvanizing public and payer pressure to increase the use of ultrasound, and providing training so that clinicians and technologists are more confident and skilled using ultrasound in kids.

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Patient Advisory Network Newsletter Released

The CERTAIN Patient Advisory Network has released its quarterly newsletter. This newsletter edition highlights the Patient Advisory Network's plans for 2014, including expanding its network to include patients with experience with diverticulitis, lung cancer, and back pain; a spotlight on Patient Advisor Shannon Marsh; and a call to join the continuing discussion started at the October Patient Advisory Network meeting about reducing barriers to patient and researcher collaboration. Read more in the Patient Advisory Network newsletter on the CERTAIN website.

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CERTAIN Partner Spotlight: UroSCOAP Quality Improvement and Physician Champion, Dr. John Corman

In the last year, the UroSCOAP quality improvement (QI) program continued to build out QI modules in sites across Washington State. This includes two active working groups, prostate and stress urinary incontinence, as well as many opportunities for further engagement.  Highlights of activities in both urology QI modules include all hospitals now having the opportunity to participate in the SCOAP hosted prostatectomy QI module. Current data review includes 530 prostatectomy cases across 9 hospital sites as of Q2 2013.  In stress urinary incontinence, data has been collected across three clinic sites. Next steps in 2014 for this module include a data review, refining the data abstraction tool, and research prioritization activities. In addition, sites participating in both modules have the opportunities for clinics to collect Patient Reported Outcome data on their prostate cancer patients through June 2014.
We recently interviewed Dr. John Corman, urologist at Virginia Mason, participant and champion of the UroSCOAP quality improvement initiative. Dr. Corman has been an active participant in the development of these QI modules, as well as CERTAIN urology research efforts. Dr. Corman states his enthusiasm for the program, “My institution has long recognized the importance of quality care initiatives- any and every opportunity to evaluate what we do and how we do it. So, this opportunity in urology is an excellent collaborative effort to critically assess how we do what we do, and to look for opportunities to improve the outcomes of the patients that we take care of.” In particular to how UroSCOAP QI and research is different Dr. Corman says, “The aspect of this initiative that is unique to the UroSCOAP and CERTAIN partnership, is that it’s not just the providers that are at the table.  Hospital administrators, potentially payers, and patient advocacy group are all involved in this effort.  I think that this comprehensive approach to quality initiatives is a unique component of this program – it recognizes that care provision isn’t isolated to clinicians who are interested in hard stats or hard outcomes, it’s what does the care cost, are we providing value, are we providing quality impact on whom we serve?  It’s the financial impact on our hospitals providing the care in the first place. This is a unique effort that brings all of the players and all of the related people in the field at the same time.” 

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CERTAIN Newsletters

Patient Advisory Network Newsletters

CERTAIN in the News
  • CERTAIN Medical Director Dr. David Flum on The Conversation with Ross Reynolds 4/11/12: listen here.