Evidence-Based Medicine in the Information Age

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By Ehsan Jazini, MD, Virginia Spine Institute, The Spine Health Journal Editor-in-Chief

Instant access to information defines the current era of the Information Age. We have become accustomed to having endless information at our fingertips, which has allowed the patients of today to be much more knowledgeable about their conditions and treatment options than ever before. For many patients, it is no longer enough to take physicians at their word, but rather to seek knowledge from other sources, such as the Internet and through social media. A variety of content is now available to assist patients in making their healthcare decisions, from personal stories and experiences to data-driven outcomes from clinical research.

With the knowledgeable patient in mind, it has become imperative for all key stakeholders to have access to the latest evidence-based medicine to continue on the path of improving healthcare. The key stakeholders bearing the burden of the increasing cost of healthcare include: patients, clinicians, hospitals, insurance providers, and the government. We must work together to make progress.

The National Spine Health Foundation seeks to foster this knowledge and is on a mission to help educate spine patients through several unique programs such as Spine-Talks®, which captures experts in spinal health discussing current spine topics that interest patients the most. Another avenue in which the Foundation delivers current information to patients is this journal. It is the best, patient-centered journal comprised of articles from spinal experts from across the country on a wide variety of topics, such as the latest technology in spine surgery, non-surgical treatment options, and innovations in regenerative medicine.

The Foundation is dedicated to spinal research and has become a conduit for research over the past 20 years. We have had tremendous growth recently by working on extensive multi-centered robotic and augmented reality studies to demonstrate the efficacy of these minimally invasive surgical techniques. We also continue our work in demonstrating the benefits of enhanced surgical recovery programs and opioid-reducing pain management after spine surgery.

As Editor-In-Chief, these tremendous strides give me hope that we can continue to be leaders in evidence-based medicine. The path of translational medicine plays a huge role in the expansive advancements in spinal healthcare, both over the past decade and in the future. Proper patient education requires that leaders like the Foundation provide unbiased, relevant, and current information to patients which is guided by our Medical and Scientific Board of top spine experts. Together, we are excited to continue supporting the Foundation on its mission to provide unparalleled access to the answers spine patients seek in this day and age.