Explanation of Outcomes Terms

Readmitted to the Hospital within 30 Days

Occasionally, people will experience complications in the month after surgery and must be readmitted to the hospital. There may be a variety of reasons for this and each case varies. The number we present shows the total percent of people admitted to the hospital following spine surgery.

Inpatient Infection Rate

Infection occurs when bacteria gets into the body. At Memorial Health University Medical Center, we follow proven standards of care to minimize the risk of infection before, during, and after surgery. This includes administering antibiotics before and after surgery, using the highest levels of quality control and cleanliness, and monitoring a patient’s blood sugar after surgery.

Inpatient Deaths

On very rare occasions, a person can die during or after surgery. This is an uncommon but very real risk associated with any type of surgery, even very minor procedures.

Paralysis or Nerve Injury

There are risks associated with any type of surgery, even very minor procedures. Although most people experience a good outcome, there is a risk of permanent paralysis or nerve damage after spine surgery. To help minimize these risks, it is important to seek out a highly trained surgeon who is experienced in performing delicate spine surgeries.

CSF Leak

A cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak occurs when fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord leaks into the body because the membrane surrounding the fluid is torn or damaged. The primary symptom is a headache that gets worse when sitting up. The headache often goes away on its own, but may require complete bed rest and medication to manage the pain.

Blood Clots

Blood clots can be a side effect of surgery. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms inside a deep vein, often in the lower leg. If it is not diagnosed and treated, it can travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism (PE). This is a very serious condition that can result in death if it is not diagnosed and treated. To help prevent blood clots, patients are encouraged to get up and walk around after surgery. They are also given special stockings to wear to help prevent DVT.

After leaving the hospital, patients can help prevent blood clots by getting regular activity every day, avoiding smoking, and staying hydrated. Some patients may also wear compression stockings or take anticoagulant medications.

Additional Surgery within Two Years

Occasionally, people must be readmitted to the hospital for another surgery or to treat complications within two years of their primary spine surgery. The number we present shows the total percent of people readmitted to the hospital within two years of surgery.

Possible Complications MHUMC, 2015 Total MHUMC, 2016 Total Top Performer Benchmark* or Goal**
Readmitted to the hospital within 30 days 1.16% 2.85% Less than 3%**
Infection within 30 days 0.45% 0.37% Less than 1%**
Paralysis or nerve injury 0% 0% 0.11%*
CSF leak 0.18% 0.28% 2.95%*
Blood clots 0.18% 0.18% 0.562%*
Inpatient deaths 0% 0% 0.23%*
Additional surgery within one year 1.08% 1.13% Less than 2%*

*Benchmark is from Premier healthcare alliance database
**Goal is based on current data in medical literature

The scores below are based on responses from patients completing a discharge survey after spine surgery at Memorial Health University Medical Center. Patients are asked to rate the care using a five point scale ranging from very dissatisfied/never to very satisfied/always. The numbers below represent the percentage of people who gave us the highest score possible, also known as the “top box score.” In this table, a higher score is better.

  Top Box Scores 2017 Total MHUMC Goal
Overall satisfaction 92% 90%
Promptness of pain management 94% 90%