Research Priorities for Optimal Use of Patient-reported Outcomes in Quality and Outcome Improvement for Total Knee Arthroplasty

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The national Functional and Outcomes Research for Comparative Effectiveness in Total Joint Replacement program routinely collects pre- and postoperative patient-reported outcomes for clinicians to use when making individual patient treatment decisions and monitoring aggregate quality of care and outcomes. When the pre–post gains in pain or function at one site vary from the national norms, the next question is, “how do we improve?” This paper will use the traditional quality management's framework of inputs (patients), processes (clinical care), and outcomes to outline priority research questions to learn how clinicians, hospital managers, and patients can interpret patient-reported outcomes to improve total knee arthroplasty care and outcomes. In summary, research should identify best practices to minimize variation in a patient's health status before surgery, tailor peri–total knee arthroplasty care pathways to match individual patient risks to optimize safe care, and implement patient-reported measures to document optimal outcomes.

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