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Announcing the American Spine Registry

9-Sep-2019 / American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)

Newswise — The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) today announced a new partnership, the American Spine Registry (ASR), which will be jointly owned and developed by both organizations. The ASR will transform the Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) Spine registry, currently the nation’s largest spine registry, into a more far-reaching program that facilitates the participation of all North American spine surgeons in a shared, quality data-collection platform.

The ASR leverages the unique data science capabilities of the AANS with the operational expertise of the AAOS Registry Program. The ASR allows both organizations to enhance the scalability, sustainability, ease-of-use and relevance of national spine data collection efforts and facilitates intelligent data use by engaging multiple healthcare stakeholders in this joint initiative. The participating organizations expect this collaboration will lead to an enhanced ability to use the accumulated information to improve patient care, advance the science of spine surgery and address the challenges of an evolving, value-based care delivery system.

“This is an appropriate, timely and potentially paradigm-shifting partnership,” said Anthony Asher, MD, FAANS, FACS, neurosurgeon at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates and co-chair of the ASR. “The AANS and AAOS are highly-regarded surgical specialty societies, both of which have clinical, scientific and economic interests in spine-related therapies. It is significant that these two organizations ultimately chose to embrace the greater potential of what we could accomplish together. This combined registry represents an enhanced opportunity to positively impact the future of spine care.”  

Since spine surgery is performed by both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons, the development of a common data platform fuels the creation of a consistent, reliable quality information source for all major stakeholders, including physicians, patients, payors, regulatory groups and industry.

“This is a great accomplishment for both specialties,” said Steven Glassman, MD, orthopaedic surgeon at Norton Leatherman Spine Center and co-chair of the ASR. “We are putting patient interests first and foremost through this collaboration.  I commend everyone involved in this joint effort to move the needle and advance health care. This registry has the potential to lead to important improvements in quality of care and patient outcomes. It will provide data relevant to making critical clinical and resource-related decisions.”

The shared vision for the ASR is to:

  • Utilize data to inform the AANS and the AAOS care guidelines and to establish benchmarks to test clinical performance and the validity of various quality measures, which are efforts critical to a value-based health care system.
  • Provide feedback to providers that allows them to continuously improve their practice and health care outcomes using methods applicable to all practice settings.
  • Reduce data reporting burdens on physicians and allow re-use of data for regulatory requirements and continuous quality improvement programs.
  • Help inform gaps in knowledge and define areas for further education and research.

“I’m optimistic this partnership will serve as a model for a more responsible and meaningful data collection standard going forward,” said Dr. Asher. “I’m also hopeful that as other medical organizations observe this collaboration, they’ll be similarly inspired to gather and apply essential information in cooperative settings. Our collective transition to higher quality, increasingly sustainable care delivery would, unquestionably, be facilitated by greater cross-specialty and cross-disciplinary data sharing.”

Current QOD sites will experience a smooth transition to the American Spine Registry and can expect more information soon. Information about the launch of ASR and enrollment for future participants is forthcoming. Sites or surgeons interested in joining ASR can contact Kristina Rosinia at rosinia@aaos.org.

About AANS

Founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is a scientific and educational association with more than 12,000 members worldwide. The AANS promotes the highest quality of patient care and advances the specialty of neurological surgery. Fellows of the AANS are board-certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or the Mexican Council of Neurological Surgery, A.C. Neurosurgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the spinal column, spinal cord, brain, nervous system and peripheral nerves.

NeuroPoint Alliance and QOD Spine Registry

The NeuroPoint Alliance (NPA) was established in 2008 by AANS to collect, analyze and report on nationwide clinical data from neurosurgical practices using online technologies. It is designed to meet the quality care and research needs of individual neurosurgeons and neurosurgical practices, affiliated clinicians, other national organizations, health care plans, the biomedical industry and government agencies. The QOD Spine registry was launched by the NPA in 2012, and in 2019 was the nation’s largest effort of its kind. The QOD serves as the foundation for the development of the ASR.

About the AAOS

With more than 39,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS is the trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal health. It provides the highest quality, most comprehensive education to help orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals at every career level best treat patients in their daily practices. The AAOS is the source for information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related musculoskeletal health care issues and it leads the health care discussion on advancing quality.

AAOS Registry Program

While the ASR will be the first collaborative registry for both AANS and AAOS, it will be the fourth in a series of anatomical registries in development as part of the AAOS’ Registry Program to establish survivorship curves, track revisions, and improve quality of care for all patients. The American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR)—the Academy’s hip and knee replacement registry—is the cornerstone of the AAOS’s Registry Program, and the world’s largest national registry of hip and knee joint replacement data by annual procedural count, with more than 1.7 million procedures contained within its database. Additional registries include Shoulder & Elbow and the Musculoskeletal Tumor Registry Pilot.


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Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as President and CEO of Surgio Health. Chris has close to 20 years of healthcare management experience, with an infinity to improve healthcare delivery through the development and implementation of innovative solutions that result in improved efficiencies, reduction of unnecessary financial & clinical variation, and help achieve better patient outcomes. Previously, Chris was assistant vice president and business unit leader for HPG/HCA. He has presented at numerous healthcare forums on topics that include disruptive innovation, physician engagement, shifting reimbursement models, cost per clinical episode and the future of supply chain delivery.

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