A spine registry for the people: Q&A with Dr. Daniel Resnick


The North American Spine Society launched a web-based spine registry in late June, welcoming spine care providers and allied health professionals to participate. 


Participants don't need to purchase software or dedicate coordinators to become a member, and the cost is competitive: the first site participant cost is $3,250 per year and subsequent participants from the site cost $300 per year.

Daniel Resnick, MD, and Zoher Ghogawala, MD, spearheaded the launch efforts. Here, Dr. Resnick discusses the registry's benefits and how it can fit into value-based care.

Question: What do you see as the biggest advantage of the NASS registry?

Dr. Daniel Resnick: It will keep track of results to improve. What you benchmark is valuable for giving patients information on the realistic complication risks and chances for a good outcome based on their individual patient profile. The NASS registry is unique because it's for everyone, not just spine surgeons. There are multiple registries that could tell us which patients did well following surgery, but there hasn't been anything out there to tell us which patients might do well without surgery, and whether there are indications we can pick up early about which treatments are best.

The NASS registry is also inexpensive; it costs about as much as a journal subscription. You don't need to be part of the industry physicians groups or large academic medical centers to participate, which brings the same benefits of large consortiums to individual users.

Q: How do you see the registry changing the way spine surgeons and back pain specialists practice?

DR: There are several factors that aren't completely predictable. I have used this product in my practice, and it has change the way I practice. Now, I share my data and the patients' data with them so they can see how their surgery compares to other patients. That may or may not be a good thing. We certainly want surgeons to only operate on patients who need surgery, but we don't want to create access to care issues for patients on the margins.

Q: Where does the registry fit into value-based care?

DR: We have to define value first. Currently, patient satisfaction and experience measures often are unfairly linked to physicians. Most factors in dissatisfaction have more to do with the patient's history, ease of parking and facility issues than the actual medical care. Measures where surgeons have control over the outcome will be a better proxy for value.

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