2015 ANNUAL REPORT
“Early in my career, I was encouraged to take a course on quality as it
relates to medical outcomes, and my interest in the idea of quality has only
grown since then,” said John Joseph “Jack” Knightly, MD, FAANS. “When
NeuroPoint Alliance (NPA) was formed it seemed like the right venue for
neurosurgeons: NPA, through the National Neurosurgical Quality Outcomes
QOD), provides us a platform to collect clinical data proving
what we do, as neurosurgeons, is beneficial for our patients’ quality of life.
“Why is real data so important? The popular press cycles through ‘spine
surgery doesn’t work’ stories with frightening regularity. The real truth about
the majority of spinal surgical procedures is glossed over as an ’inconvenient
truth.’ Surgically, when done on the right patient at the right time for the
right procedure, we are improving patients’ quality of life in the majority
of cases. As individual surgeons, working with our own patients, we know
this. We see what we can do for our patients. The power of NPA is that
we, as a collective of surgeons, can aggregate information about surgeries
and outcomes all across the country. This allows us to empirically prove our
procedures work out there in the real world.
“Beyond showing the success, the data shows us where we need to improve.
We can benchmark how we do at an individual, group or hospital level.
Benchmarking to a norm shows the opportunities for improvement.
“The other side of this equation is what the data means to our patients.
I find that when patients participate in decision-making regarding their
treatment, we see a better clinical result. Accurate patient outcome
percentages is the goal. With 16,000 patients already in the lumbar module,
we can create a tool that allows me, as a surgeon, to sit with a patient,
review the data that matches his or her profile and manage expectations.”
Ralph Bobroski has been Knightly’s patient twice and is part of the NPA patient
outcome registry. Bobroski revealed, “I was more than comfortable going back
to see Dr. Knightly when I needed a second surgery. He is very patient. He has
a really great rapport with patients. I’ve been very pleased with my results and
I’ll continue to recommend him to family and friends. The seven years between
my surgeries made for two very different kinds of recoveries; I hadn’t realized
what a difference I’d see in recovery having aged from 64 to 71.”
“As powerful as the patient tool will be at an individual level, helping patients
like Mr. Bobroski understand outcomes before experiencing outcomes, it will be
even more powerful with regard to the profession. N
QOD will help with the
new reality of medicine, managing experiences and costs,” added Knightly.
“I think we are moving from today’s pay-for-procedure model to a pay-for-
performance reality,” he continued. “Because of this, I liked helping to write
neurosurgery’s own report card, which was successfully submitted to CMS
Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). Working with NPA to generate
the first neurosurgery-specific reporting measures has been an objective,
thoughtful and collaborative process. The data we collect through the NPA
registries meets Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) requirements and is
meaningful for neurosurgeons and our patients.”
Another registry patient, Joanne Matina, had surgery at the age of 76 to
address chronic and near debilitating back pain. She celebrated four months
post-surgery by purchasing a trike motorcycle. “Dr. Knightly is the reason I’m
on a motorcycle, even though he made me wait a few more months than I
thought I needed. He relieves so much pain for people. Unless you’ve lived
with that kind of chronic pain, I don’t think you can really understand what it
means to have it go away,” said Matina.
Knightly, while pleased that Matina got the results they both hoped for, is
less than pleased with her latest purchase.
John Joseph “Jack” Knightly, MD, FAANS
, received his Bachelor of Arts from Franklin
and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa., and his medical degree from The University of
Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, N.J. He completed his post-graduate
training and residency training at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Md. Dr.
Knightly completed a research fellowship in the surgical neurology branch of the
National Institutes of Health and in pediatric neurosurgery at The Children’s Hospital
in Boston. He completed advanced training in trauma at the Shock-Trauma Center
in Baltimore. In addition, Dr. Knightly completed a fellowship in complex spine with
Volker Sonntag, MD, FAANS(L), at The Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. He is
the director of neurosurgery at Morristown Memorial Hospital and the vice-chairman
of Atlantic Health Institute in Morristown, N.J., where he also serves as the medical
director of the neuro-spine team.
Driving Data, Improving Neurosurgery
John Joseph “Jack” Knightly, MD, FAANS