​Medical Registry Costs Cut Both Ways​
HealthLeaders Media 
December 4, 2014
Participating in an orthopedic registry reduces some costs, but the expense associated with building and maintaining the technology a registry requires can be huge. The orthopedic community got its first glance at a four-year data collection effort that, for the first time, marries the national clinical outcomes of a total joint replacement registry with patients' post-operative functionality.
Read the full article by Jacqueline Fellows here.

Montefiore health system joins national effort to improve joint replacement surgery
December, 2014
FORCE-TJR is pleased to announce that Montefiore Health System (MHS), one of the largest care delivery networks in New York, is the latest participant in a national effort to improve the quality and success of knee and hip replacement surgery, two of the most performed surgical procedures in the US. The 6 orthopedic surgeons of MHS join FORCE-TJR’s national network of orthopedic surgeons from 22 states representing the most advanced joint replacement monitoring and outcomes research program in the nation. As part of a groundbreaking consortium of surgeons and providers, MHS will help track and report information such as complication, infection and readmission rates, as well as what implant devices, surgical approaches and follow-up treatments work best for joint replacement patients across the country.


Medical University of South Carolina Instrumental in National Effort to Improve Joint Replacement Surgery
As a leading member of a national research program on knee and hip replacement surgery, data gathered by the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is shedding light on how to improve the quality and success of knee and hip replacement surgery.


Device registries can be source of crucial data, and other letters
Modern Healthcare

September 20, 2014
Regarding “FDA gets push for device registries”, hip and knee implant registries incorporating refined data for comparative effectiveness, quality monitoring and public reporting are clearly necessary. As implant designs and materials mature, and survival times lengthen, patient attributes and risk factors are emerging as key factors in predicting implant survivorship and functional outcomes. Information such as risk adjustment at the time of surgery—including patient-reported symptoms—to understand thresholds for revision would be most useful.
Read the full article by Dr. David Ayers and Dr. Patricia Franklin here.

FORCE Total Joint Registry Certified as PQRS
Orthopedics This Week

August 25, 2014
Now it is even easier for physicians who accurately report quality measures to be rewarded. Function and Outcomes Research for Comparative Effectiveness in Total Joint Replacement (FORCE-TJR)—a national database that collects implant and patient outcomes data on total joint knee and hip replacements—has been certified as a CMS Physician Quality Reporting System Qualified Registry (PQRS). At the helm of this effort is David Ayers, M.D., chair of the Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation and director of the Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Read the full article by Elizabeth Hofheniz here.

Leveraging technology: Using big data to make better purchasing decisions in the orthopedic service line
Becker’s Hospital Review

August 8, 2014
In a webinar hosted by Becker's Hospital Review on July 31, a panel of experts discussed data collection efforts by national orthopedic registries as well as new solutions that make supply purchasing in the orthopedic service line more effective. Big data presents a huge opportunity to improve patient care; however, the sheer volume of data prevents healthcare providers and administrators from using it in a meaningful way.
Read the full article by Anuja Vaidya here

Patient-reported outcomes move into clinical practice
Orthopedics Today

August 1, 2014
Patient-reported outcome measures using validated, standardized, patient questionnaires have been extensively used in orthopedic research for many years and are now increasingly incorporated into clinical practice. Patient-reported outcomes are used to objectively measure a patient’s pain and function before and after treatment, and compare the scores to age-matched controls.
Read the full article by David C. Ayers here

The power of big data to optimize orthopedic supply chain purchasing and surgical outcomes
Becker’s Hospital Review

July 25, 2014
A recent survey conducted by the eHealth Initiative and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives revealed while 80 percent of CIOs and other healthcare executives believe data analytics are important to their organizations' strategic goals, 84 percent said using big data presents a challenge.  Some of this challenge is just how big the data has become and how rapidly it's growing, says Stephen Gold, vice president of the Watson Ecosystem at IBM's Watson Group. "You want to consume [all of the available data] to help you make an informed decision, but if you consumed everything tomorrow and then got to work you'd soon realize the volume of data is doubling every couple of years," he says.
Read the full article by Helen Gregg here

New study: Don't wait on that joint replacement!
Orthopedics This Week

July 16, 2014
Physicians often suggest to their patients with knee and hip problems that they delay resorting to artificial joints for as long as possible, according to a report in the Boston Globe. Their doctors urge them to try less invasive treatments first—in part because surgery brings its own risks and the process of rehabilitation after surgery can be arduous. That physician suggestion may be a mistake. A recent study of the outcomes of joint replacement surgery for 17,000 patients found that patients who wait until they are severely incapacitated do not benefit as much from their joint replacement as do those who had their surgery earlier.
Read the full article by Biloine W. Young here

Institute for Healthcare Improvement Seeks Progress in Total Joint Replacement
Ortho Spine News

July 10, 2014
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) has formed a Joint Replacement Learning Community, bringing together 32 medical centers worldwide with expertise in joint and orthopedic medicine to look at ways to improve costs and patient outcomes associated with total hip and knee joint replacement. The organizations and surgeons participating in the IHI program are seeking the adoption of new methods that will improve outcomes per dollar spent on knee and hip replacements. Participants in the Joint Replacement Learning Community are identifying and acting on process improvement opportunities through the application of cutting-edge costing techniques, standardized outcome measures and process improvement strategies.
Read the full article by Josh Sandberg here

Research Suggests Best Time for Joint Replacement Surgery
Ortho Buzz

July 6, 2014
Some doctors and patients may hold off on joint replacement surgery until the pain becomes unbearable and mobility is severely limited. But data from FORCE-TJR—a joint replacement database administered by David Ayers, MD and Patricia Franklin, MD at UMass Medical School–now shows that there is an ideal time for patients to get the most out of hip or knee replacement surgery. A nationally recognized physical composite score for individuals with no joint pain or functional limitations is 50. A study, based on 17,000 patients in the FORCE-TJR database reveals that patient scores improve an average of 12 points after total joint replacement surgery. But that data also suggest that if a patient’s function is severely impaired before surgery (a score of 25 or lower), that patient may not achieve the same amount of improvement as a patient who had surgery at the ideal time (determined in this study to be a score of 32).
Read the full article here

Timing knee and hip replacements
The Boston Globe

June 30, 2014
A new registry that tracks knee and hip replacements can help patients choose the best time for an effective surgery. Walking has long been one of Janet Golden’s passions, but her knees were so shot by her mid-50s that the fifth-grade teacher was limping everywhere. Over-the-counter medications didn’t touch the pain, and fluid injections at her doctor’s office to help lubricate and cushion her deteriorated joints didn’t help much either.
Read the full article by Kay Lazar here

Waiting Too Long for TJR is a Bad Idea
Orthopedics This Week

June 19, 2014
Is there an optimum time—a window of opportunity—for a patient to get a hip or knee joint replaced? Data from a joint replacement monitoring program and database at UMass Medical School says “yes” and that waiting too long will reduce the benefits of surgery.
Read the full article by Biloine W. Young here

New medical research targets best time for joint replacement surgery
Washington Orthopedic Center

June 12, 2014
New data from a joint replacement monitoring program and database at UMass Medical School shows there is an ideal time for typical patients to get the most out of a hip or knee replacement and that waiting too long will reduce the benefits of surgery.
Read the full article by Josh Sandberg here

New research targets optimum time for joint replacement
Ortho Streams

June 10, 2014
New medical research targets best time for joint replacement surgery (UMass Med).
UMMS data shows fixed improvement score across typical patient population.
New data from a joint replacement monitoring program and database at UMass Medical School shows there is an ideal time for typical patients to get the most out of a hip or knee replacement and that waiting too long will reduce the benefits of surgery.
Read the full article here.

Massive New Joint Registry Announced
Orthopedics This Week

June 6, 2014
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts are working on what is likely the most comprehensive effort to date to develop and implement a total joint research registry. This project—Function and Outcomes Research for Comparative Effectiveness in Total Joint Replacement (FORCE-TJR)—is a national consortium of hospitals focused on studying best practices. At the helm is David Ayers, M.D., Chair of the Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation and director of the Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. 
Read the full article by Elizabeth Hofheinz here

Delaying Total Joint Replacement Reduces Surgery Effectiveness
Becker’s Orthopedics Review

May 27, 2014
There is an ideal time for hip or knee replacement patients to undergo surgery and waiting too long may reduce the benefits of surgery, according to new data released by an orthopedic surgeon and researcher at University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worchester.
Read the full article by Anuja Vaidya here

Adding the Patient’s Perspective to Joint Registry Data
International Congress for Joint Reconstruction

April 21, 2014
Joint implant registries are critical to the orthopedic community’s understanding of the characteristics, performance, and longevity of various implants used in hip and knee arthroplasty. They also help identify problems with specific implants that need to be addressed. They are so important, in fact, that orthopedic registries from around the world were showcased in a special forum at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic (AAOS). As valuable as these registries are, however, something is missing: the patient’s perspective on the total joint replacement experience.
Read the full article by Susan Doan-Johnson here


Incredibly Comprehensive Total Joint Registry Consortium
Ortho Spine News
April 6, 2014
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts are working on what is likely the most comprehensive effort to date to develop and implement a total joint research registry. This project—Function and Outcomes Research for Comparative Effectiveness in Total Joint Replacement (FORCE-TJR)—is a national consortium of hospitals focused on studying best practices. At the helm is David Ayers, M.D., Chair of the Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation and director of the Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Read the full article by Elizabeth Hofheinz here.


Data shows national “norms” for timing of hip and knee replacements could aid in shared physician/patient decision-making
Market Wired

March, 2014
Data gathered through a federally funded research registry by more than 125 orthopedic surgeons on 15,000 joint replacement patients across the US has pinpointed “typical” patient pain and function scores at which most patients undergo joint replacement surgery.
Read the full press release here

UMass Memorial seeks joint replacement improvements
Worcester Business Journal

March 7, 2014
UMass Memorial Medical Center has been tapped as one of 32 medical centers worldwide to look at ways to improve costs and outcomes associated with total joint replacement.
The Worcester-based health system said it is the only organization in Massachusetts to participate in the Joint Replacement Learning Community program, led by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The organizations participating in the program will spend 2014 seeking the adoption of new methods that will improve outcomes per dollar spent on knee and hip replacements.
Read the full article here

Improving 30-day Readmission Models for TJR
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

January 15, 2014
FORCE-TJR and AAHKS collaboration results in addition of clinical risk factors.
The latest findings from a collaboration between the American Association of Hip & Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) and FORCE-TJR (Function and Outcomes Research for Comparative Effectiveness in Total Joint Replacement) were presented at the 2013 AAHKS Annual Meeting in Dallas. The AAHKS and FORCE-TJR had been working together to advocate for the addition of clinical data to the risk adjustment models for total knee replacement (TKR) and total hip replacement (THR) used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Read the full article by Thomas K. Fehring here.  ​