News & Events

CERTAIN Approved for $12.9 Million Research Funding Award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

The Comparative Effectiveness Research Translation Network (CERTAIN) has been approved for a $12.9 million award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study appendectomy versus “antibiotics-first” for the treatment of uncomplicated appendicitis. 

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New Funding: Opportunities for Improving Care

CERTAIN is comprised of a suite of programs and projects that track quality, benchmark best practices, drive improvement, and allow all healthcare stakeholders to have their input heard as to what is needed to improve the healthcare system. Funding for our work comes from a variety of organizations interested in solving the most pressing problems in healthcare, and we are grateful for their support. We are excited to begin work on three recently-funded projects:

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2015 SCOAP Annual Meeting: A Decade of Improved Surgical Care

The Surgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program (SCOAP) celebrated ten successful years building a safer, higher quality, and more cost effective surgical healthcare system at this year’s Annual Meeting on June 10th. SCOAP Medical Director Dr. Richard Thirlby kicked off the event by highlighting SCOAP’s impact in performance benchmarking, education, and quality initiatives, as well as important accomplishments in reducing variability in surgical procedures across Washington State. He highlighted the value SCOAP delivers to participating hospitals through community leadership, reliable data, and transparency.

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Open Position: SORCE Scientific Director

SORCE (the administrative home of CERTAIN) is recruiting for the open position of Scientific Director. This position will provide senior-level, seasoned professional planning and execution of 5-10 major surgical outcomes, health services, and patient-centered research programs. This position will act as a scientific and technical lead on day-to-day project operations, significantly contribute to material production of research materials, and serve as a program management lead across several diverse projects and investigative teams. S/he will facilitate and address technical development and timely completion of scientific objectives. S/he will effectively communicate goals and priorities to investigators and collaborators and provide direction to project staff.

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CERTAIN is Hiring!

CERTAIN is hiring a Project Coordinator Lead. The areas of responsibility of this position fall into these categories: 

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A New Conversation in Appendicitis: Appendectomy or “Antibiotics First”


Appendicitis is the most common reason for emergency abdominal surgery—approximately 300,000 people undergo an appendectomy in the US each year. The advent of laparoscopic surgery has made the procedure safer and reduced complications. However, despite the safety and efficacy of appendectomy, there is still some uncertainty in the healthcare community around the necessity of appendectomy for managing appendicitis.

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Making Data Meaningful: Designing Visual Dashboards for Patient-Reported Outcomes

Patient-Reported Outcomes (PROs) are becoming an important part of research and quality improvement projects aimed at improving healthcare. PROs capture how a patient feels about their symptoms, health, healing, and quality of life. That information, combined with traditional clinical data, gives doctors a better understanding of their patients’ outcomes and the quality of care they provide.

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Safe and Sound Collaborative Improving Care for Children with Appendicitis

Appendicitis is the most common surgical emergency in children, and computed tomography (CT) imaging is a routine and accurate way to diagnose the condition. But medical tests like CT scans expose children to radiation and can lead to an increased risk of cancer later in life. As a result, experts recommend minimizing the use of CT scans and encourage the use of ultrasound instead. However, recent studies show that CT scans are still performed at a high rate in children with symptoms of appendicitis.

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CERTAIN Study Finds Common Drug for Treating Pain May Lead to Complications in Certain Surgical Procedures

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a class of drugs used regularly to treat inflammation and reduce pain. As doctors try to avoid negative effects associated with opioid medications, the use of intravenous NSAIDs for treating pain after surgery has increased. But over the past decade, several small studies have shown a connection between NSAID use and complications with healing for surgeries involving the gastrointestinal tract.

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Developing CERTAIN Projects Seeking Patient Partners

The CERTAIN Patient Advisory Network is building a community of individuals who want to inform or partner in the broad range of healthcare research underway and being developed in CERTAIN. We currently have two opportunities that we are exploring and need Patient Partners who are interested in helping us develop patient-centered research studies. If you are interested in getting involved with either of the projects described below, please contact Sarah Lawrence at or (206) 221-7453 to learn more.

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