Measuring the Quality of Spine Care at the Cedars-Sinai Spine Center

Cedars-Sinai is committed to the latest spine expertise, treatment and research. As a result, the Cedars-Sinai Spine Center has developed into a comprehensive and advanced spine center dedicated to the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of all neck, back pain and spinal conditions.

The Cedars-Sinai Spine Center has a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, surgical fellows, specialized spine nurses, and conservative care and diagnostic specialists.

Research and teaching are emphasized by the Center that help us to provide the most state-of-the-art clinical care available. Numerous clinical trials are being conducted and developed to pursue the latest techniques available to create the most effective treatments to alleviate back and neck pain. The Center is currently conducting clinical trials in artificial disc replacement to treat pain and disability caused by cervical and lumbar disc disease. Other current studies include non-fusion devices for spinal stabilization, bone morphogenetic protein applications for enhancing the success of spinal fusion, Facet joint replacement  and laboratory research involving biomechanics and biotechnology for spinal regeneration.

Our goal is to ensure that all patients are cared for with respect and efficiency through their course of treatment for their spinal disorders.

Number of Patients Treated

In 2014, Cedars-Sinai performed over 1900 inpatient spine procedures. Studies suggest that for many surgical procedures, hospitals that perform high volumes have better quality outcomes, i.e. lower short-term and long term mortality and morbidity. Volume is an indicator of experience, which influences outcomes in multiple ways. In addition to the experience of surgeons in performing specific procedures, high volume hospitals may institute specific care processes that improve outcomes and have the infrastructure dedicated to particular clinical specialties, including related technology and intensive care personnel. Commitment to quality standards throughout the institution is also an important determinant of better outcomes. 1,2  In addition, outcomes for high-risk procedures have been shown to be better when performed by more highly-trained surgeons than by general surgeons3.

Patient Care Processes and Outcomes

At the Cedars-Sinai Spine Center, a number of aspects of patient care are monitored for patients undergoing spinal procedures.  Cedars-Sinai outcomes are also compared to the outcomes expected for a clinical similar patient population, when this comparative data is available. These measures include:




Cedars-Sinai 2014



Average Length of Stay

4.3 days

4.2 days

Percentage of Patients Transferred to an ICU


not available

30 Day Readmissions


not available

Percent Mortality




The data comes from the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), an alliance of more than 300 of the nation’s non-profit academic medical centers and their affiliated hospitals.  The majority of these facilities participate in UHC's Clinical DataBase/Resource Manager.  The data were accessed on April 4, 2015 for patients discharged during 2014 and includes patients with one of the following DRGs 28-30, 453-460, 471-473, 490, or 491.  


Patient reported progress  at 3, 6, 12 and 24 month post-surgery is also measured.  The Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) is one of the principal condition-specific outcome measures used in the management of spinal disorders. The ODI is the most commonly utilized tool for outcome measure in patients with low back pain  It has been extensively tested, shown good psychometric properties, and is applicable in a wide variety of settings. The ODI gives a subjective percentage score for level of function (disability) in activities of daily living for those individuals rehabilitating from low back pain. Results from patients surveys are presented below. 


The Cedars-Sinai Spine Center also measures a patient’s level of pain at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months post-surgery. This survey asks patients to rate their pain along a continuum from “no pain” to “worst possible pain”. Scores were compared over time to assess the level of improvement. The results are presented below.


[1] Bach PB, Ann Intern Med 2009; 150:729-30
[2] Greene FL, Ann Surg Oncol 2007; 15:14-15
[3] Kozower BD et al, Ann Thorac Surg 2008; 86:1405-08

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