The Outcomes Article Collection was created to educate plastic surgeons on the expanding role of outcomes research in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery. This form of research explores numerous aspects of healthcare including the broad outcomes categories of prevention (safety studies, systematic reviews), quality of care, patient reported health, and life and healthcare costs.
As we enter into the realm of value based care, it has become evident that a significant portion of U.S. healthcare spending is for services with blurred clinical effectiveness. Practice patterns span different specialties, and communities differ, making it more difficult to discern the links between the types of care being delivered and the outcome reached. Another issue is the deficiency of an evidenced-based understanding into what management choices may be most appropriate for various patient populations.
In the current healthcare environment, outcomes research drives decision-making and has implications on policy as well as influencing contemporary practice trends. Furthermore, it provides a significant perspective on how care is measured and delivered through an inclusive approach that respects patient preferences. Ultimately, if significant improvements can be made, adjustments can be shared with others to implement.
This is the core of healthcare reform and value-based care; achieving greater outcomes, and refining patient health, swiftly and competently. In general, these articles have outperformed other journal topics, again emphasizing their importance. It is the responsibility of the Journal to ensure that outcomes research is presented in a standardized fashion that is easily understandable. This collection will hopefully allow readers to make informed decisions regarding healthcare.
Samuel J. Lin, MD
Outcomes Consulting Editor- Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery