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Up-leveling UX and Equity in Spine Surgery


Project Lead and Lead Researcher

Challenge Statement

How might we design a toolkit that improves patients' perceived care by surgeons, optimizes the risk/benefit ratio of spine surgery, and improves equity in health outcomes, that can be easily implemented by different clinics around the US?

  1. Pioneered an approach to understanding the impact of social determinants of health and social risk factors in aggregate to provide an accurate picture of the impact of these factors on the development of conditions leading to spine surgery and the outcomes from spine surgery

  2. Brought together a cross-functional team of experts in neurosurgery, nursing, statistics, and healthcare administration to develop a social needs screening toolkit, for use by surgery clinics

  3. Created an approach to implementing social needs screening in pre-surgery workflows

  4. Pilot tested toolkit in 2 surgery clinics throughout health system to assess implementation fidelity and feasibility

  5. Refined implementation protocol and evaluated intervention effectiveness in 4 additional clinics


The final toolkit offers flexile implementation protocols, allowing for widespread use across surgery clinics in US.



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