Robert H. Jones
Mary and Deryl Hart Professor Emeritus of Surgery

The major research interest of Robert H. Jones, MD is in improving methodology for quantifying value of healthcare. This work has
proceeded at the national level with involvement in a consensus conference on standard setting, including the American College of Cardiology Bethesda Conference and the ACC course on value in cardiovascular care. This work has also involved international comparisons of healthcare through positions as chairman of the American College of Cardiology International Committee and collaboration with colleagues in Europe, South America, and Asia to understand ways of enhancing efficiency of healthcare delivery. Emphasis at Duke has centered on the structuring of medical information in a format suitable for inclusion in the hospital information system. A new hospital information system has been developed, and the first phases of this were installed at this institution in June of 1996.

The major research interest question of how to measure value added by alternate processes of health care delivery is addressed primarily in the specific setting of coronary artery disease management. Work spans a broad range of uses of information beginning with elemental definitions of variables, structuring variables appropriate to disease severity, and disease course in a coherent way to identify separate components of care delivery. Care delivery then is mapped into common pathways with attention to major performance measurements that ultimately relate to value being delivered to the patient. Work is proceeding on a number of fronts including theoretic development, observations using clinical databases, creation of national and international standards, and education of healthcare providers and administrators. Early work defining cardiovascular variables will be practically implemented in the new patient information software installed at Duke and is being accepted as an international standard by a consortium of professional organizations including the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the European Society of Cardiology, the Canadian Society of Cardiology, and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Attention to guidelines is primarily through a Bethesda Conference focused on this topic by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association to evolve a standard for use in the cardiovascular specialties. Attention to the type of relationship between care processes and outcomes has been examined in the Duke Cardiovascular Database to compare the effectiveness of medicine, coronary angioplasty, and coronary bypass surgery in treatment of patients with coronary artery disease in the BARI Trial comparing angioplasty. He serves as a leader of the ongoing Surgical Treatment for Ischemic Heart Failure(STICH) trial comparing survival of medical therapy with and without bypass surgery in a randomized international study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

  • 7023 North Pavilion, Durham, NC 27710
  • Box 2986 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710

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