Project Title

Surgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program CER Translation Network (CERTAIN)

Shortened Title


Publication Date


Author Information

David R. Flum, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor, Department of Surgery
University of Washington School of Medicine


CERTAIN builds a learning health system focused on improving the effectiveness, quality and safety of surgical and interventional care. CERTAIN leverages the success of the registry to improve existing use of data for quality improvement (QI), and to extend the registry into comparative effectiveness research (CER). CERTAIN incorporates patient voices, stakeholder perspectives and real world clinical practice to address questions of comparative benefit and costs for clinicians, patients, payers, industry and policymakers. CERTAIN builds an automated flow of electronic health information using cutting edge informatics tools and evaluates the use and value of automated data retrieval from across diverse healthcare settings including the use of novel text mining tools. Project aims will greatly enhance existing QI by delivering more comprehensive and timely data about performance of evidence-based care, and in relieving manual staff and resource burden to participating hospitals. For more information, visit

Healthcare Settings

Primary care or ambulatory clinics, Inpatient facilities, Specialty clinics, Community households

Geographic scope type


Locations of Focus

12 hospitals and outpatient clinics across Washington State

Population Network Size

1,200 eligible participants

Informatics Platform/Tools

Native EMR systems and message feeds interfaced via VPN network to centrally hosted dedicated instance of Microsoft Amalga on dedicated hardware; Microsoft's Amalga Unified Intelligence System™ (Amalga UIS™); Text-mining tools

Grant Type

Enhanced Registries

Major Partners

University of Washington (Lead Site), Caradigm, Foundation for Health Care Quality, Allenmore Hospital, Good samaritan Hospital, harborview Medical Center, Lake Washington Vascular, Northwest Hospital, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Dt. Francis Hospital, St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma General Hospital, Virginia Mason Hospital & Medical Center

CER/PCOR Study Priority Populations

Low-income groups, Women, Children, The elderly, Individuals who need chronic care, Individuals who live in inner-city areas, Individuals who live in rural areas

Outcome(s) of Interest

6 and 12 month functional and quality of life outcomes, risk-adjusted clinical events, and healthcare utilization

Additional Information

Project Resources and Products