Improving Patient Care With the SKC Dashboard

For more than 38 years, Shelbourne Knee Center has been studying patient outcomes and factors related to those outcomes. Now Shelbourne Knee Center has a new tool in its research arsenal: the SKC dashboard.

Orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists are using the SKC Dashboard’s real-time data to continuously improve patient care and explore research questions. “If you’re trying to make things better, you have to have data,” says K. Donald Shelbourne, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Shelbourne Knee Center. “Our data enable us to do continuous quality improvement. Every year we have better results.”

The SKC Dashboard also will be used to counsel patients on expected outcomes, such as the typical treatment path, recovery after surgery and return to sport. The ultimate goal is to be able to answer specific patient questions at the point of care—for example, the chance of a high school basketball player with an ACL tear being able to play basketball in college.

Objective and Subjective Data

Most of the data in the SKC Dashboard come from SKC research databases, which were started in 1984. Data from Community Health Network’s EPIC electronic medical record system are also included. Currently, the SKC Dashboard contains both objective and subjective data covering anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) patients. Kani Phalakornkule, Shelbourne Knee Center’s statistician and programmer, developed the SKC Dashboard.

Once chart sign-off is complete, data from EPIC are live in the SKC Dashboard. Objective data from Shelbourne Knee Center research include demographics, type of treatment, treatment variables, and measurements of range of motion (ROM) and strength. Subjective data from the International Knee Documentation Committee Questionnaire include symptoms, sports activity and knee function.

“We built the dashboard so our orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists can spot and analyze trends or problems, and download data,” says Tinker Gray MA, ELS, research manager and medical writer. Data become part of a data lake, an aggregation of all data, independent of format or source. The SKC Dashboard provides charts and graphs for easy visualization as well as numbers.

The ACL Dashboard

Data and filters on the ACL dashboard include:

Age group:

  • 18 under
  • 19–25
  • Over 25


  • Basketball
  • Baseball/softball
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
  • Other


  • Graft source
  • Primary or revision surgery
  • Meniscus treatment

Surgical measurements:

  • BMI
  • Patellar tendon width
  • Tibial shape
  • Intercondylar notch width

Measurements at specific time periods from pre-op through long-term follow-up, including:

  • KT1000: Stability after surgery
  • Extension
  • Flexion
  • Cybex: Isokinetic strength.

The TKA Dashboard

The TKA dashboard, still under development, currently includes:

  • Age
  • Treatment
  • Pre-op and post-op measurements:
    • Extension
    • Flexion
    • Cybex
    • Single leg press (to measure strength).

Focused Research 

The Shelbourne Knee Center research program has data from 38+ years and more than 13,000 patients. The orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists are using the SKC Dashboard to focus their research on key questions to be answered. They can then download raw data from the SKC dashboard into spreadsheets and submit data requests to obtain more data.

For more information about the Shelbourne Knee Center research program, call 888-FIX-KNEE or email