- Matthew J. Geck MD is a board certified, fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon who has a practice focused exclusively on spine and scoliosis surgery.
The TRUE definition of quality is reduction of variation about the mean. As quality experts note, unless you have data, you have no business talking about quality. Texas Spine and Scoliosis, Austin, a multidisciplinary group of specialists in physical medicine (Dr. Moroz and Dr. Pena), orthopedic surgery (Dr. Geck and Dr. Truumees) and neurosurgery (Dr. Stokes), is a work in progress with the goal of improving how we care for back and neck patients.
New patients coming into Texas Spine and Scoliosis in Austin, Texas completed an intake form that measured their pain level, severity of symptoms and functional status. Three months after their first visit, an outside nurse, not employed by Texas Spine and Scoliosis, called a random sample of patients and interviewed them for functional status, symptoms and patient satisfaction. This is the most unbiased method for outcomes analysis. The clinical outcomes presented here are analyzed and validated by an outside firm, Prizm Development, Inc., that specializes in tracking spine outcomes nationally, and is the most experienced entity in the nation related to spine specialty centers.
Unlike most providers of back and neck pain, a spine center typically receives the most complex patients. One of every three patients coming in the front door has had previous back surgery at other clinics. Additionally, 48% of new patients referred into the spine center have red flag symptoms like numbness into a leg or arm, which implies discrelated symptoms, 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.
Even with the most complex patient base, 82% of patients were treated without surgery. As to return to work and activity, Texas Spine and Scoliosis helped 94% of chronic patients return to work or their favorite recreational activity. Quality is a journey, however, rather than a destination, and we are committed to continually improving. This report documents our footprints on that journey.