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One Mercado Street, Suite 200 Durango, CO 81301
Phone: 970.382.9500
Fax: 970.375.0007

Clinical Outcomes

How tracking treatment information improves healthcare | Orthopedic and spine center of excellence | Patient outcomes | Patient experience at SpineColorado | Improving the quality of health care

There is a lot of confusion about the word "quality." In healthcare, everyone claims to have high quality, except few providers offer data to prove it.

For example, it is amusing to those outside of the health care industry that every health care provider claims to have high quality. But as any expert in quality management will argue, if you're not measuring your performance, you have no business what's over claiming you have quality.

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Experts in quality management define high quality as "a reduction of variation about the mean." In automobiles, quality manufacturing means that the distance between a fender and a hood is the same distance in every car, or that the paint is free of defects in every car.

In healthcare, there can be a lot of variation. The human body is complex, and every patient is different and needs individualized, custom care, not "cookie cutter" medicine.

How Tracking Treatment Information Improves Healthcare

By collecting information on patients' conditions following treatment, doctors and therapists can customize future care protocols based on what worked best in the past. The field of health care is always changing, and doctors are always trying to find the best possible way to treat a health care problem. Asking patients for their input and focusing on which treatments worked best is the only way doctors can improve their care of problems.

As a patient of SpineColorado, we may ask you how you're doing and what you thought of our service to you. Your answers are important in helping us to continually improve. We thank you in advance for your time and feedback.


Orthopedic & Spine Center of Excellence

Spine Colorado in collaboration with our treating partner facility, Mercy Regional Medical Center, teamed up to create the Orthopedic & Spine Center of Excellence at Mercy Regional Medical Center.

The Regionís Leader in Orthopedic & Spine Surgery

When our patients are faced with chronic hip, knee or spine conditions we want to refer them to a specialized center with a track record of excellent outcomes and outstanding customer service. The Orthopedic & Spine Center of Excellence at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango is just that, which is why they are the regionís leader in hip, knee and spine surgery.

History and Overview

The Orthopedic & Spine Center of Excellence began in 2005 when surgeons and staff at Mercy Medical Center began working collaboratively to improve clinical quality, patient satisfaction, and outcomes. The team reviewed the entire surgery process from the perspective of the patient, not the caregivers, and redesigned it to better meet patientsí needs. In 2006, Mercy Medical Center became Mercy Regional Medical Center when it relocated to a brand new facility. In the new hospital, with its state-of-the-art technology, private patient rooms, and healing environment, the Center of Excellence has flourished.

Hallmarks of the program include:

  • Efficient care that is seamless between the surgeonís office and the hospital
  • Standardization of clinical protocols from provider to provider
  • Excellent clinical outcomes
  • Valued patient amenities
  • Exceptional customer service


Patient Outcomes

Spine Procedures

Average Length of Stay in Days:

Spinal Fusion Except Cervical ............... 1.7

Cervical Spinal Fusion............................ 1.1

Discharge Disposition:


Spinal Fusion Except Cervical ....... 98%

Cervical Spinal Fusion.................... 100%

Skilled Nursing Facility

Spinal Fusion Except Cervical ....... 2%

Cervical Spinal Fusion.................... 0%

Major Joint Procedures

Average Length of Stay in Days: 3.1

Discharge Disposition:


Skilled Nursing Facility ......................22.6%

Acute Rehabilitation Facility .............0%

Swing Bed ...........................................0.9%


Sampling the In office Patient Experience at Spine Colorado

Just as important as the patient surgical experience, is the in office patient experience here at Spine Colorado. In 2007 we implemented a very comprehensive program to sample and report the patient experience. Most importantly, we have taken those results and utilized them in a feedback environment with an implicit goal to continue to improve the patient experience here in our clinic setting. We are happy to report the results are excellent.

Improving the Quality of Health Care

The first step toward improving quality is to collect data that documents patient severity at the time of first appointment. After receiving care, the functional status of the patient should be measured, along with patient satisfaction. SpineColorado is one of the few physician groups in the state of Colorado doing these clinical outcome studies for the purpose of continually improving the quality of care provided to patients.

Clinical outcome systems are the study of a patients recovery from the time they go to the doctor to when they return to work or activity. The outcome data allows the doctors to monitor each patient's progress and compare it to other patients with the same problem. Such tracking systems assure the doctor that the highest quality treatment was delivered. Clinical outcome systems provide quantifiable data based on the patients experiences, feelings and treatment.

The last misconception about quality is that "quality" is like a destination. In reality, quality is a journey where you never arrive. At SpineColorado, we are continually striving to improve.




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