Outcomes research: Linking patient care, education and research
Each year, the department continues to expand our surgery outcomes database, which is one more way that we are linking patient care, research and education. The database houses both pre- and post-surgical information gathered from patients who have undergone surgical treatment for a variety of diagnoses. Currently there are over 4000 surgery subjects in the database who have undergone total joint replacement, revision joint surgery, shoulder surgery, or treatment for Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD).
Patients helping patients
You don’t have to be a researcher or scientist to contribute to research that can positively affect the treatment methods of future orthopaedic patients. Many of our surgical patients give a little of their time to help us understand what is working and what might be improved, by allowing us to collect pre- and post-op data about their surgical case. Patients fill out questionnaires regarding their health, quality of life and functional status. This collection of data, known as an outcomes study, serves as a valuable tool for surgeons to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of various treatments, and ensure that diagnosis and treatment are continually evolving and improving.
Only through the collection of this extremely valuable data, can physicians identify and document whether or not treatments (non-surgical or surgical) are truly helpful. And if they are not helpful, only through good outcomes research can we begin to try and identify why not, and how we can improve those treatment methods.