How do you measure the value of a knee surgeon?
Jon Smith looks at a new reporting procedure that clearly shows the knee surgeons delivering the best patient reported outcomes.
Last month, my colleague Jim Newman looked at the future of wearable tech and its application to patient recovery. In his piece, Jim spoke about the more subjective elements of PROMS (patient reported outcome measures) and the potential for tech to help remove some of the subjectivity.
Then, with immaculate timing, we get another new PROMs initiative which feels like the biggest things that’s happened in knees all year.
For the first time, all UK knee surgeons now have their PROMS data linked to their National Joint Registry (NJR) record.
As we’ve explored previously, the NJR collates every hip, knee, ankle, elbow and shoulder replacement, enabling anyone to see a surgeon’s profile and gain a clear understanding of their experience and specialism. You can find my NJR profile here.
Not all data is available for general consumption. Some information can only be seen by medical professionals and the PROMS data falls within that category. It does, however, mean that I can see my own PROMS data in comparison with my peers. Here’s my report:
You’ll see the average ‘baseline’ for PROMS performance as the dotted line running through the centre of the scatter graph. Each surgeon is represented by a dot. The further to the right of the graph they appear, the more procedures they have completed. The further above the baseline they are, the better their PROMS performance. My position is indicated by the yellow diamond.
Even though it’s not publicly available, I believe there are big implications in publishing this information:
- For the first time, we can see a surgeon’s ‘value’ in terms of how well (or otherwise) their patients are doing. Every knee surgeon seeks the best for their patients, but there’s nothing like a little added incentive to drive even better outcomes.
- In the future, it’s reasonable to assume CCGs and private medical insurance companies will look at these charts and use them to identify the surgeons to whom they will send patients – because that will ensure they are setting patients up for the best outcome.
- Increasingly we’re seeing multi-disciplinary care groups using the NJR data within meetings as a way of improving team governance. The data shows impressive performance for all Yorkshire Knee Clinic surgeons, but my colleagues and I will be using this data to further improve the service we deliver and the outcomes we achieve.
To explore treatment options for your knee pain, please get in touch.