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Improving Patient Safety through Total Joint Registry


To create better outcomes for patients by improving satisfaction and safety, Bayhealth joined the American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR).

Every month, Bayhealth Nurse Navigator for Orthopaedics Janelle A. Hobbs BSN, RN, CMSRN, works with Bayhealth’s Information Services Department to record data on Bayhealth’s joint replacement patients and report it to the AJRR.

Hobbs also coordinates Bayhealth’s Total Joint Replacement class, which prepares pre-surgical patients on what to expect during surgery, hospitalization and recovery at home. During the class, she informs patients about the importance of recording their information in the national database.

“We record the patient’s name, race, physician, hometown, procedure, any implants put in and where – anything all the way to the type of cement used in a total joint replacement,” she said. “This way, if there is a recall of any kind related to the total joint replacement, we can notify the patient right away.”

In 2012, Bayhealth was the first hospital in Delaware to join the AJRR. Before participation in the registry, Bayhealth was unable to inform patients of recalls specific to their surgery.

“As a patient safety measure, it’s great for patients,” Hobbs said. “If anything goes wrong, we have a way to contact patients. We also use AJRR as a resource for any questions we have about implants.”

The AJRR aims to monitor the artificial joint throughout a recipient’s lifetime to help doctors more quickly identify joints that are performing poorly, and will help them match patients, procedures and devices to ensure that every patient has the best experience possible. With more than a million knee and hip replacements performed in the United States each year, up to 8 percent of them may need future revisions. According to the AJRR, by participating in a joint registry, hospitals can have up to a 50 percent reduction in revision rates, leading to reduced costs for everyone involved – patient, physician, hospital, etc.

“Our membership in the AJRR helps ensure that we can continue to provide patients with the best care possible,” said Bayhealth Vice President, Ancillary and Clinical Services Brad Kirkes, MBA, MHA, OTR/L, CHT, FACHE. “By participating with other hospitals in sharing information about artificial joint performance and physician and patient experiences, we can help joint replacement procedures become safer nationwide, while optimizing our own patients’ experiences here at Bayhealth.”

The American Joint Replacement Registry was founded in 2009 by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and other orthopaedic industry leaders and stakeholders, and began collecting data in 2011. The AJRR’s goal is to optimize patient outcomes through collection of data on all primary and revision total joint replacement procedures in the U.S. The mission of the registry is to enhance patient safety, improve quality of care and reduce the cost of care. For more information about the registry and its objectives, visit www.ajrr.net.

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