Clinical Outcomes

Baptist Health Spine Center in Little Rock, Arkansas uses written protocols that non-surgical treatment options for back pain in advance of spine surgery. The Prizm spine outcomes system is the only spine outcomes system that measures and tracks a variety of metrics that document the severity of the patient entering the spine center and compares that to the results after treatment.

Patient severity metrics measured includes:

  • the percent of patients entering the spine center front door who had back or neck surgery elsewhere
  • the percent of patients who have had back or neck pain for four months or more
  • the percent of patients with radicular pain below a knee or elbow
  • the percent of patients with numbness in an arm or leg (neurological deficit)
  • the percent of patients with pain that wakes them up at night (interrupted sleep)
  • the percent of patients who had their injury on-the-job
  • the percent of patients taking 5 or more pills daily for pain relief

After treatment, the Clinical Outcome Report Card system reveals the following:

  • the percent of patients receiving therapy,
  • the percent of patients receiving injections
  • the percent of patients receiving surgery
  • the percent of patients taking pills for relief of pain 3 to 6 months after treatment compared to the percent taking pills when they arrived as a new patient
  • and the improvement in across several functional status metrics, such as ability to climb stairs, carry groceries and stand for 30 minutes
  • the relief of pain symptoms
  • the relief of neurological symptoms (weakness/numbness in an arm or leg)
  • improvement in analog pain scales

The spine Clinical Outcome Report Card methodology

New patients coming into Baptist Health Spine Center complete an intake form that measures their pain level, severity of symptoms and functional status. Three months after their first visit, an outside nurse, not employed by Baptist Health Spine Center, calls a random sample of patients and interviews 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.

A key part of spine care is to prevent re-injury and a future back strain. As part of their care at Baptist Health Spine Center, patients are provided a Home Remedy Book with stretches that relieve symptoms at home and symptom charts that reveal emergency symptoms that need to be seen by a physician in 48 hours to prevent permanent paralysis of muscles and nerves. Those patients who receive spine-specialized physical therapy at Baptist Health Spine Center are give a customized Home Exercise Program specific to their diagnosis and spine problem. The educational book also shows ways to lift objects correctly to prevent a future strain. This emphasis on prevention, enables the person to make their back stronger, more flexible and more resistant to future strain. This is the secret to long term freedom from back or neck pain.

Quality is a journey, however, rather than a destination, and we are committed to continually improving.

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Home Remedy Book for spine exercises to relieve back pain