News & Events

Quality Improvement & Innovation in Spine Care

Over the last three years, CERTAIN has been working with the spine care community in Washington State through the CERTAIN Spine Care Forum. Over 100 diverse healthcare stakeholders have come together on ten occasions since 2011 to identify areas for improvements in spine care and share results of quality improvement initiatives.

Last month, the Spine Care Forum was held at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle. Associate Director of Spine SCOAP, Dr. Neal Shonnard, began the event by sharing recent data collected from hospitals participating in the Spine SCOAP module. These data revealed promising trends in smoking cessation, blood glucose management, and adverse event rates for patients who underwent spine surgery in 2014. 

CERTAIN Medical Director, Dr. David Flum, presented exciting early findings of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) through the CERTAIN Hub - a web-based portal for improved patient data collection and delivering programs aimed at improving health and healthcare. For more information, you can view a demo version of the CERTAIN Hub.

Dr. Flum also shared a new prediction model developed using merged data from Spine SCOAP and CERTAIN patient-reported outcomes databases. The Spine Pain Improvement Calculator is a tool designed to help facilitate discussion among physicians, patients, and their families about the likelihood of pain improvement 60 days after a spine fusion surgery. Click on the image to the left to learn more, and to download the calculator.

Strong for Surgery Medical Director, Dr. Tom Varghese, Jr., gave the final presentation updating the group on recent successes and future plans for the Strong for Surgery program, including a pilot project aimed at opioid minimization for surgical patients. More details on that project to come!


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