SpineTRACK Practice Spotlight: Cheri, ARNP


A data collection effort, like the SpineTRACK Registry, can be overwhelming to a practice and its staff in the beginning. Learn first-hand from Cheri Somers, ARNP, what it takes to bring SpineTRACK into practice and make it a part of your daily practice workflow.

About SpineTRACK

The SpineTRACK Registry is a NuVasive-sponsored quality improvement tool that tracks patient outcomes through their treatment and recovery. It is the longest-running registry currently offered by any spine company. SpineTRACK serves as a comprehensive and collaborative data collection solution for hospitals systems and spine practices. It is designed to allow surgeons to use real-time reports to make more informed treatment decisions, patients to track their progress to better understand treatment benefits, and hospitals to evaluate outcome variations to aid in providing the highest value of care.

Cheri Somers, ARNP
Office of Antoine Tohmeh, M.D.
Spokane, WA

SpineTRACK Stats

  • Started in 2012/5+ years contributing
  • 650+ patients enrolled to date
  • 2 publications in process

Key Takeaway

Start small in the beginning—one patient group, determine workflow and roles and responsibilities. It can be overwhelming at first. It is important to educate the staff and get buy-in before rolling out such a big initiative that requires a lot of work. Do a little bit at a time and build from there.

We know this data collection effort can be onerous, but you have done an amazing job integrating SpineTRACK into your daily practice workflow—can you walk us through what this looks like at your practice?

We have a medical assistant who is responsible for ensuring patients complete all follow-up forms during each post-op visit. It took a little while to figure out the workflow. Initially, all XLIF® patients were enrolled in the Registry. Now, we include all lumbar fusion patients which has simplified the process and helped with our success. 

Who are the key players at your practice that contribute to your success?

The key players include a full-time medical assistant and a dedicated data entry volunteer who comes in intermittently to ensure all data is entered in the Registry.

How do you educate the staff and patients? What resources do you use/how do you inform patients and get buy-in?

Staff education is key, and data collection is second nature at our practice now. Patients are informed that data are collected for publication, which we can point to on the wall, and for ammunition with insurance providers to help get surgeries approved. Patients can relate to this, they have typically had challenges with approvals by their insurance providers. We let them know that by sharing their information now, it will help patients in the future

What has your biggest challenge been implementing SpineTRACK and how have you overcome or mitigated this?

In the beginning, the biggest challenge was determining who was responsible for what and implementing the workflow. When working as a full-time RN, it was much easier because it was my baby. After transitioning to the NP role, I needed to delegate more responsibilities so the Registry could be successful. Also, making sure the staff understood it was a priority helped ensure data were kept up to date.

To learn more about SpineTRACK Registry, click here for our surgeon page and here for our patient page.

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