Message from the Directors

The Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University—located in New York City—is home to one of four Centers for Education & Research on Therapeutics (CERTs) newly established in 2006. The Weill Cornell CERT focuses on research into the outcomes and cost-effectiveness of medical and orthopedic devices. Quality measurement of medical and orthopedic devices constitutes an important scientific agenda that hasn’t been fully addressed in other parts of the CERT program, or in medical research as a whole. With considerable strength and leadership in those fields, the Weill Cornell Department of Public Health and the Hospital for Special Surgery have an opportunity to make a contribution.

Specifically, the Cornell CERT is interested in examining the predictors of better outcomes for people who receive these important and expensive interventions. The research team also plans to examine some of the policy issues concerning whether regionalization would improve outcomes for patients receiving medical or orthopedic devices. In other words, are better results obtained at centers of excellence and by high-volume, high-quality providers? By better quantifying these predictors, we hope to assist clinicians in making good decisions about how to use devices most effectively.

Finally, the CERT grant will fund the dissemination of study results to patients, health-care practitioners and policy makers. Additionally, the group will develop culturally sensitive education outreach materials for patients from diverse and medically underserved backgrounds.

The use of medical and orthopedic devices is predicted to grow rapidly in the coming decades, with the aging of the population and the development of new technologies. The Cornell CERT hopes to help ready the health care community for the surge.

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