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Phone: (706) 548-6881
2142 West Broad Street Building 100, Suite 200
Athens, GA 30606
www.GeorgiaComprehensiveSpine.com
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Clinical Outcomes

The TRUE definition of quality is reduction of variation about the mean. dr john cuff georgia spine surgeonAs quality experts note, unless you have data, you have no business talking about quality. Georgia Neurological Surgery & Georgia Comprehensive Spine is a work in progress with the goal of improving how we care for back and neck patients over the next five years. We track and publish spine clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

New patients coming into Georgia Neurological Surgery & Georgia Comprehensive Spine complete an intake form that measures their pain level, severity of symptoms and functional status. Three months after their first visit, a nurse calls a random sample of these patients and interviews them for functional status, current symptoms and patient satisfaction. This is the most unbiased, statistically relevant method for outcomes analysis.

The clinical outcomes are analyzed by an outside firm that specializes in tracking spine outcomes, and is involved with other spine centers across the U.S. The following is a highlight of information measured and published about Georgia Neurological Surgery & Georgia Comprehensive Spine in our Clinical Outcome Report Card:

Highlight of Clinical Outcome Measures:

New patient severity

As a regional referral for back and neck pain, Georgia Comprehensive Spine receives a far more complex patient base than other clinics, as 20% of new patients walking in the front door of Georgia Comprehensive Spine have had previous back surgery at other clinics. More than half of patients have red flag symptoms like radicular pain and numbness into a leg or arm, which implies disc-related problems, rather than simple acute back or neck strain. This severity of new patients presents a challenge for a spine center. Still, the spine center emphasized non-surgical options first, holding surgery as the last resort.

Patient Satisfaction

Of the patients surveyed, 95% of patients said they were very or somewhat satisfied with the time spent by the physician and medical explanation provided. Another 95% said they would recommend the clinic to a friend.

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Return to Function

The main reason people go to the doctor is for relief of pain. But if a spine physician focuses exclusively on pain, he can miss the target of return to function. Spine specialized therapy provides pain relief and then a transition into exercise. At intake, 48% of patients had weakness in a leg or arm. After treatment, the number decreased to only 33%. At intake 47% of patients reported a pain level of 7 or greater on a 1 to 10 scale. After treatment, the number reduced to only 21%. Function also improved, with patients seeing improvement in carrying, climbing stairs and extended standing.

Return to Work and Activity after spine treatment at Georgia Comprehensive Spine Center

Having a more complex patient mix makes return to work more difficult than an occupational medicine clinic or primary care clinic that treats onsets of simple back pain that can go away on their own. In this study sample, 86% of the acute patients were back to work/activity after treatment; 89% of chronic patients returned to work or activity after treatment; and 81% of patients who had back or neck surgery previously at other centers, were back to work or activity.

Quality is a journey, and we are committed to continually improving. The 2012 clinical outcome and patient satisfaction data we publish below documents our footprints on this journey.

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