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Kaiser Permanente Implant Registries Benefit Patient Safety, Quality Improvement, Cost-Effectiveness

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Background: In response to the increased volume, risk, and cost of medical devices, in 2001 Kaiser Permanente (KP) developed implant registries to enhance patient safety and quality, and to evaluate cost-effectiveness.

Methods: Using an integrated electronic health record system, administrative databases, and other institutional databases, orthopedic, cardiology, and vascular implant registries were developed in 2001, 2006, and 2011, respectively. These registries monitor patients, implants, clinical practices, and surgical outcomes for KP's 9 million members. Critical to registry success is surgeon leadership and engagement; each geographical region has a surgeon champion who provides feedback on registry initiatives and disseminates registry findings.

Results: The registries enhance patient safety by providing a variety of clinical decision tools such as risk calculators, quality reports, risk-adjusted medical center reports, summaries of surgeon data, and infection control reports to registry stakeholders. The registries are used to immediately identify patients with recalled devices, evaluate new and established device technology, and identify outlier implants. The registries contribute to cost-effectiveness initiatives through collaboration with sourcing and contracting groups and confirming adherence to device formulary guidelines. Research studies based on registry data have directly influenced clinical best practices.

Conclusions: Registries are important tools to evaluate longitudinal device performance and safety, study the clinical indications for and outcomes of device implantation, respond promptly to recalls and advisories, and contribute to the overall high quality of care of our patients.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president for the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission, is the inaugural editor-in-chief of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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