Joint Statement Aims to Improve Safety in Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery
HALIFAX, May 9, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - "Canadians who need hip or knee replacement surgery can take comfort in knowing that these operations will become even safer than they are now," says Dr. Ross Leighton, who practises at Halifax's QE II Health Sciences Centre and is the immediate past-president of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association (COA). "Thanks to an unprecedented collaboration with our COA National Standards Committee (chaired by Dr. Eric Bohm), the Canadian Institute for Health Information, Accreditation Canada and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, I believe we are on the right track toward reducing preventable complications in hip and knee surgery."
The four organizations came together in late 2010 to draft a public position statement — "Improving Safety and Outcomes for Canadians Undergoing Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery" — which promotes the adoption of a surgical safety checklist prior to commencing surgery and submission of a minimum data set to the Canadian Joint Replacement Registry after surgery. The safety checklist requires that critical steps be completed for all surgical patients to confirm that the surgical team has taken preventive measures and is properly prepared for potential complications or emergencies. For its part, data submission to the joint replacement registry, that would occur electronically during the surgery, makes it possible to match patients with an implant, should problems surface with a particular device.
"Patients and their families will benefit from the cumulative data in the Canadian Joint Replacement Registry," says Dr. Bohm, "which will allow clinical researchers to develop more effective evidence-based care and track the performance of different types of hip and knee devices. To get the best value from the registry, we need to urge all institutions performing arthroplasties to register their data. With over 80,000 hip and knee replacement surgeries performed in Canada annually, we can have one of the best registries in the world."
All the participating organizations agree a protocol that combines the safety checklist before surgery and data submission to the registry as part of post-operative debriefing would also make it easier for hospitals to comply with mandatory accreditation standards that improve patient safety. "This position statement is more than just words on paper," says Dr. Leighton. "Hospitals and regional health authorities often look for guidance and expertise from non-governmental agencies to help them make decisions about delivering care. A position statement that has the support of the Canadian Institute for Health Information, Accreditation Canada, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Canadian Orthopaedic Association will provide guidance that can be respected by all health-care decision-makers."
Accreditation Canada is a not-for-profit, independent organization that provides health organizations with an external peer review to assess the quality of their services based on standards of excellence. Accreditation Canada is accredited by the International Society for Quality in Health Care and has been fostering quality in health services across Canada and internationally since 1958.
The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI)
The CPSI is a not-for-profit organization that exists to raise awareness and facilitate implementation of transformative ideas and best practices in patient safety. Funded by Health Canada, CPSI reflects the desire to close the gap between the health care we have and the health care we deserve. An excellent example of how CPSI has facilitated improved patient safety is through the implementation of the Surgical Safety Checklist across Canada
The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)
CIHI was established in 1994, and is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that provides essential information on Canada's health system and the health of Canadians. The Institute is funded by federal, provincial and territorial governments, and guided by a board of directors comprising health leaders from across the country. CIHI's vision: To help improve Canada's health system and the well-being of Canadians by being a leading source of unbiased, credible and comparable information that will enable health leaders to make better-informed decisions. The most recent Canadian Joint Replacement Registry Report is available at
The Canadian Orthopaedic Association (COA)
The COA speaks with a united voice on behalf of the orthopaedic community within Canada. The COA's mission: "Achieve excellence in orthopaedic care for Canadians".