Medical Specialty Society–Sponsored Data Registries: Opportunities in Plastic Surgery

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Clinical data registries are commonly used worldwide and are implemented for a variety of purposes ranging from physician or facility clinic logs for tracking patients, to collecting outcomes data, to measuring quality improvement or safety of medical devices. In the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has used data collected through registries to facilitate the drug and device regulatory process, for ongoing surveillance during the product life cycle, and for disease appraisals. Furthermore, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in certain instances, bases registry participation and submitting data to registries as factors for reimbursement decisions. The purpose of this article is to discuss the use of clinical data registries; the role that medical specialty societies, in particular, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and The Plastic Surgery Foundation, can have in the development and management of registries; and the opportunities for registry use in plastic surgery. As outcomes data are becoming essential measures of quality health care delivery, participation in registry development and centralized data collection has become a critical task for plastic surgery to engage in to proactively participate in the national quality and performance measurement agenda.

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