"The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through." -- Sydney J. Harris

Three Total Knee Replacement Measures Reported for First Time

MN Community Measurement is excited to publicly report three total knee replacement measures for the first time on MNCM’s suite of total knee replacement measures have been in development since 2010. These newly-released measures utilize the Oxford Knee Score (OKS) questionnaire, a patient-reported outcome tool that assesses a patient’s functional status and pain related to the knee.

The measures just released evaluate:

  • The percentage of patients who completed an OKS prior to their total knee replacement procedure.
  • The percentage of patients who completed an OKS one year after their total knee replacement procedure.
  • The percentage of patients who completed an OKS prior to AND one year after their total knee replacement procedure.

All three are process measures, which evaluate if medical groups assess their patients’ functional status pre- and post-operatively, a key component in providing good care and measuring the outcomes and effectiveness of that care. They are also included in the Minnesota Department of Health’s Statewide Quality Reporting and Measurement System (SQRMS) slate. MNCM developed total knee replacement outcome and process measures in part through funding from the Minnesota Department of Health.

The total knee replacement measures were pilot tested between 2011 and 2013. Unfortunately, the results of the pilot were less successful than we had hoped – there was extremely low implementation of the patient-reported outcome tools in clinic practices to appropriately measure functional status and health-related quality of life. As a result, the first year results were further evaluated before making a recommendation about public reporting. While we were encouraged to see an increase in use of the patient-reported outcome tools during the first year, the use was still lower than required to produce valid outcome measures for public reporting.

The reporting of these process measures is the first step toward public reporting of outcome measures for total knee replacement procedures. The Total Knee Replacement Measure Development Workgroup and MNCM’s Measurement and Reporting Committee (MARC) recommended public reporting of the process measures, in part, to encourage medical groups to increase implementation of the OKS. Improved performance on these process measures will help ensure MNCM’s ability to publicly report the outcome measures in the future.