Research using the Quality Outcomes Database: accomplishments and future steps toward higher-quality real-world evidence.



The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) was established in 2012 by the NeuroPoint Alliance, a nonprofit organization supported by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Currently, the QOD has launched six different modules to cover a broad spectrum of neurosurgical practice-namely lumbar spine surgery, cervical spine surgery, brain tumor, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), functional neurosurgery for Parkinson's disease, and cerebrovascular surgery. This investigation aims to summarize research efforts and evidence yielded through QOD research endeavors.


The authors identified all publications from January 1, 2012, to February 18, 2023, that were produced by using data collected prospectively in a QOD module without a prespecified research purpose in the context of quality surveillance and improvement. Citations were compiled and presented along with comprehensive documentation of the main study objective and take-home message.


A total of 94 studies have been produced through QOD efforts during the past decade. QOD-derived literature has been predominantly dedicated to spinal surgical outcomes, with 59 and 22 studies focusing on lumbar and cervical spine surgery, respectively, and 6 studies focusing on both. More specifically, the QOD Study Group-a research collaborative between 16 high-enrolling sites-has yielded 24 studies on lumbar grade 1 spondylolisthesis and 13 studies on cervical spondylotic myelopathy, using two focused data sets with high data accuracy and long-term follow-up. The more recent neuro-oncological QOD efforts, i.e., the Tumor QOD and the SRS Quality Registry, have contributed 5 studies, providing insights into the real-world neuro-oncological practice and the role of patient-reported outcomes.


Prospective quality registries are an important resource for observational research, yielding clinical evidence to guide decision-making across neurosurgical subspecialties. Future directions of the QOD efforts include the development of research efforts within the neuro-oncological registries and the American Spine Registry-which has now replaced the inactive spinal modules of the QOD-and the focused research on high-grade lumbar spondylolisthesis and cervical radiculopathy.





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Publication Info

Asher, Anthony L, Regis W Haid, Ann R Stroink, Giorgos D Michalopoulos, A Yohan Alexander, Daniel Zeitouni, Andrew K Chan, Michael S Virk, et al. (2023). Research using the Quality Outcomes Database: accomplishments and future steps toward higher-quality real-world evidence. Journal of neurosurgery. pp. 1–19. 10.3171/2023.3.jns222601 Retrieved from

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Christopher Ignatius Shaffrey

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

I have more than 25 years of experience treating patients of all ages with spinal disorders. I have had an interest in the management of spinal disorders since starting my medical education. I performed residencies in both orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery to gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire range of spinal disorders. My goal has been to find innovative ways to manage the range of spinal conditions, straightforward to complex. I have a focus on managing patients with complex spinal disorders. My patient evaluation and management philosophy is to provide engaged, compassionate care that focuses on providing the simplest and least aggressive treatment option for a particular condition. In many cases, non-operative treatment options exist to improve a patient’s symptoms. I have been actively engaged in clinical research to find the best ways to manage spinal disorders in order to achieve better results with fewer complications.

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