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Qual Manag Health Care. 2000 Winter;8(2):1-20.

Designing an ambulatory clinical practice for outcomes improvement: from vision to reality--the Spine Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, year one.

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  • 1Shared Decision Making Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA.


Development of a new program for diagnosis and treatment of spine-related problems provided a unique opportunity to design and implement a new model for delivery of health care incorporating outcomes measurement and improvement. Key features include: application of microsystem thinking and interdisciplinary practice; integration of a uniform outcomes measurement tool, the Dartmouth Clinical Value Compass; and touch pad technology for data collection. This, for the first time, provided clinically meaningful point-of-service data and aggregated information for improvement. A further advantage was the ability to integrate a clinical research program within this microsystem. A multisite clinical research trial, the Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial (SPORT), modeled on the Spine Center microsystem and funded by The National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and the Office of Research on Woman's Health, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is currently underway. The significant problems we face today cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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