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The SORCE Mission

SORCE assesses the impact of surgical procedures on patients, society, and the healthcare system and improves the practice of surgery through education, training, and policy initiatives.


  • a multidisciplinary research center established by the Department of Surgery at the University of Washington.
  • an active supporter of the use of outcomes research to improve the quality of surgical care at the local, regional and national level.
  • available for surgical investigators and other healthcare stakeholders interested in evaluating surgical effectiveness, emerging technology, patient-centered outcomes, surgical epidemiology and quality improvement interventions.
  • a valuable resource, offering expertise in research design and study methodology including the full “toolbox” of outcomes research techniques, including:
    • Use of secondary data sources.
    • Meta-analysis.
    • Modeled cost/decision analyses.
    • Quality of life/functional outcomes.
    • Survey design/qualitative research.
    • Patient-centered outcomes study development.
  • involved in the promotion of “translational outcomes research” by linking quality improvement initiatives with emerging evidence regarding processes. The result is optimal surgical outcomes.

Why do we need SORCE?

The outcomes research movement is transforming surgical care and the surgical community. Outcomes researchers help identify the best evidence to guide patient care. They determine the processes of care resulting in optimal outcomes, by critically appraising the results of a procedure, its global impact on patient health and well-being, satisfaction, functional status, lifespan and the healthcare system. Outcomes researchers “translate” this research into practice and policy by working with surgeons, payers and purchasers of healthcare.

SORCE was established because:

  • There are fundamental but complex questions to be addressed in surgical care such as:
    • What accounts for variation in processes of care and outcomes seen across groups of surgeons, patients, regions, and in the community at large?
    • What is the effectiveness and cost- effectiveness of surgical care?
    • What is the appropriate use of surgical procedures and emerging technology?
    • What are the processes of care that link to optimal outcomes in surgery?
    • How can the use of best practices be most effectively encouraged?
  • Creating high impact outcomes research requires resources such as:
    • Reliable funding and trained investigators
    • Availability of epidemiologists, psychologists, sociologists, health economists, statisticians, and study coordinators
  • Translating outcomes research into policy and practice requires unique partnerships with:
    • Payers, purchasers and regulators of health care
    • Developing regional and national quality improvement initiatives

Centers for Comparative and Health Systems Effectiveness (CHASE Alliance):

The UW Centers for Comparative and Health Systems Effectiveness (CHASE Alliance) coalesces successful and respected UW research groups and community partners with a common mission to elevate multidisciplinary, high impact comparative and systems effectiveness research and implementation. The goal of the CHASE Alliance is to promote collaboration and efficiencies in research and implementation across groups to increase productivity within a shared environment. SORCE is a founding member of the CHASE Alliance.

SORCE Annual Newsletter:

View SORCE’s progress over the last year. The SORCE annual newsletter can be accessed here: SORCE Highlights 2013 >>


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 Modified August 2014 - MDH 


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