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The Importance of ASC Data Transparency: Q&A With Sopida Andronaco of Hoag Orthopedic Institute

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Sopida AndronacoHoag Orthopedic Institute recently released its 2014 Outcomes Report, including data from its Main Street Specialty Surgery Center in Orange, Calif., and Orthopedic Surgery Center of Orange County in Newport Beach, Calif.

Sopida Andronaco, Director of Performance Improvement and Clinical Outcomes at Hoag Orthopedic Institute, oversees data collection and transparency for Hoag's Orthopedic Institute hospital and two affiliated surgery centers. Ms. Andronaco answers questions on HOI's motivation behind data transparency and why this move is an important one for all surgery centers.

Question: What motivated Hoag Orthopedic Institute to embrace data transparency?

Sopida Andronaco: Hoag Orthopedic Institute has collected and published outcomes before, but previous efforts focused on the hospital. Hoag Orthopedic Institute is a relatively young enterprise, but with this year's outcomes book we realized we needed to also focus on our surgery centers. With the shift in healthcare, surgery centers will play a more important role. We hope to help educate the public on surgery centers quality metrics.

Q: Why do you think transparency is an important strategy for all surgery centers?

SA: Data gathered and compared to national numbers, such as those provided by CMS, is important for quality and performance improvement. We want our patients to have the best possible outcome. We pulled data we thought would be meaningful to patients, payers, administrators and physicians.

This data really gives recognition to our physicians and staff. They do an outstanding job everyday and patients need to see this.

Data transparency is also a useful marketing tool. Most surgery centers base their marketing on patient testimonials, but this is subjective; our goal is to be objective. While we do include success stories, these are backed up by objective data. Most of our patients will have these positive stories, as reflected in the data.

Q: What plans does Hoag Orthopedic have for the future of data collection and transparency in its ASC?

SA: Every year the outcomes report takes on a life of its own. As part of the Hoag Orthopedic Institute Enterprise, the surgery centers outcomes will continue to be part of our Outcomes Report. The data may change, based on the changes we see in healthcare. We try to make all of the data as relevant as possible and reflect the quality care that we provide. We want to make sure the safety of our patients comes first, which we believe we have conveyed in our outcomes report. We work to ensure that the data reflects the concerns of patients, payers and providers.
    
Going forward, we will keep an eye out for any new measures that can be of benefit. One of the main goals of the outcomes data is to educate patients and we will continue to strive to do so.

Q: What advice do you have for other surgery center leaders taking the leap towards transparency?

SA: You have to do this for the right reasons; to show that you are providing quality care and share best practices to keep patients safe with other organizations. Verify all of the data and use it with integrity. Your organization's reputation is on the line. Always back up and verify your data.

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