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NEW FOR 2017



The AANS and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R)

are developing an all-care registry for spine patients. The registry will track surgical

and non-surgical (therapeutic and other interventions) longitudinally, and collectively,

the data will have the ability to advance the understanding of this ever-growing patient

population while demonstrating the quality and value of treatments.

“We are exceedingly excited about the potential of this joint registry. Physiatrists and

neurosurgeons are natural partners in caring for patients suffering spine disorders

throughout the continuum of care. Through this registry and for the first time, we will

have a meaningful database with PROs that will allow us to understand which patients

respond to medications, which ones respond to physical therapy, which ones respond to

percutaneous treatments and, finally, which ones are best served by surgery. While we

normally try all conservative options up-front, we may be able to predict which patients are

destined to fail those interventions, and we can go directly to some form of percutaneous or

open surgical procedure to, hopefully, eliminate suffering quicker. As the database matures,

we will be able to communicate very directly with a patient and say ‘we can predict that this

treatment for you has an 85 percent chance of improving quality of life.’ This knowledge will

be empowering to physicians as well as patients. We look forward to a long and productive

relationship with our colleagues from the AAPM&R,” added 2015-2016 AANS president, H.

Hunt Batjer, MD, FAANS.


The NREF has provided funding to support the NPA’s joint study with the Institute for

Healthcare Improvement (IHI). The IHI, a non-profit organization based in Cambridge,

Mass., is a leading innovator in health and health care improvement worldwide. The

collaboration’s one-year, cooperative project,

Driving Quality Improvement in Spine Surgery:

Reducing 90-Day Readmissions Following Elective Spine Surgery

, will develop, test and

implement an approach to improving outcomes and reducing 90-day readmissions for

spine surgery patients. “The end product will be a ‘tool kit’ for participating surgeons and

hospitals around the nation to improve health outcomes following elective spine surgery,

as well as reinforcing a culture of continuous quality improvement,” commented

Anthony L. Asher, MD, FAANS, vice chair of NPA and QOD director.