The Academy has moved forward in its efforts to improve musculoskeletal care by approving a separate nonprofit corporation to promote and support research in outcomes and other practice management areas.
The Musculoskeletal Education and Research Institute will house the research and administration of the Musculoskeletal Outcomes Data Evaluation and Management System (MODEMS), which was established by the Academy. The Institute will encourage participation in outcomes research by all musculoskeletal providers, not just the Academy.
Other goals are to establish and promote validated outcomes instruments, such as the MODEMS data collection instrument, as a "gold standard" for musculoskeletal outcomes research; and to encourage health care research that supports evidence-based improvement of health care delivery.
The Institute grew out of recommendations by a work group, which determined that a separate corporation would allow the Academy’s data collections activities to expand in ways they couldn’t if they remained an Academy function, said James W. Strickland, MD, work group chairman. "We felt the activities of the new entity could perhaps generate widespread acceptance in the musculoskeletal community among practitioners - other than just orthopaedic surgeons - as well as among industry, government, patient support organizations, insurance companies, practice management organizations and management support organizations," said Dr. Strickland. He believes the collaboration will increase the credibility of the data collections instruments the Academy has in place.
In December 1997, the Academy’s Board of Directors approved the creation of the Institute and a $500,000 annual operating subsidy for the first two years of the Institute’s operation, after which it is expected that the Institute will be self-sustaining.
An Institute board of directors will represent all organizational types, including medical associations, patient groups, industry, allied health care organizations and the health research community. Dr. Strickland said that obtaining uniformity in collecting outcomes among all groups involved in musculoskeletal care is essential to enhancing the credibility of those research efforts and impacting patient care. "If we really want to impact patient care, we need to have everyone come to the table and agree on methodology" he said.