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Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM) Project

Although rare, one of the most problematic complications during spine surgery is neurologic injury and deficit. Intraoperative neuromonitoring provides real-time assessment of a patient’s neurological function during surgery. Neuromonitoring alerts triggered in the OR can notify the surgical team of a potential complication and allow them to take appropriate action. The effectiveness of these alerts is not fully known; we sought to undertake a prospective quality improvement initiative examining the correlation between neuromonitoring alerts and post-operative neurological complications in spine surgery patients. By studying when and why these alerts occur, and how they relate to complications, we hope to minimize post-operative neurological issues and improve patient safety and outcomes.

Various neuromonitoring techniques are being investigated, and our cumulative data has shown that some of these techniques are more reliable than others. We have accrued data on 500 patients and hope to use this data, and any prospective data, to gain a better understanding of our alerts, fine tune our own intraoperative monitoring techniques, and improve team communication in the OR