National Registry for Orthopaedics Offers More Medical Data to Improve Patient Outcomes

  • Built operational data store that holds information for more than 1 million hip and knee replacement surgeries
  • Reduced file data processing time from several hours to only minutes for incoming surgery records
  • New data automation allows AAOS to focus efforts on expanding the American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR) which ultimately benefits patient experience

Company Background

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the preeminent provider of musculoskeletal education to orthopaedic surgeons and others in the world, has an orthopaedic Registry that collects and reports on hip and knee joint replacement data from institutions across the nation. Data collected includes patient information, diagnoses, procedure information, complications post procedure, device information, doctor information, hospital information, and more.

Their mission is to provide health care organizations with quality data that can be used to identify trends surrounding procedures and devices to help reduce surgery complications and revisions. The more network registrants that participate in the Registry and the more data are collected, the better the benefit for patient care. With national benchmark data at their fingertips, medical providers can compare their performance to similar institutions and practices. AJRR aims to become the national registry that captures 90% of all knee and hip replacement data in the United States. Therefore, having a functional and reliable data source is paramount to its mission and goals.

Problem

With their significant member growth over the past five years, the Registry recognized the need to improve the accessibility and quality of their data. They found it challenging to handle the added procedures from new hospital network or ambulatory surgery center participants. Data were being uploaded via Excel on a nightly basis, and the IT staff was burdened with performing data validation which oftentimes took up to one week to complete. These manual data processes were slowing the progress of the Registry, and some reporting was inaccurate, prompting inquiries from participants about data accuracy.

The IT Department at AAOS was tasked with building a universal solution that could support the growing number of procedures and assessments that needed to be logged into the Registry.

Solution

AAOS engaged Analytics8 to build an Operational Data Store to expedite the data collection process. We first migrated all Registry data from various sources, including SQL servers, mySQL databases, Excel files, and industry-specific tools. We then developed a solution that automates the processing, auditing, and storage of incoming data from two major file sources: Procedure and Assessment. The new solution handles peak days where AAOS receives up to 40+ files containing 10,000+ records! This data store feeds the portal solution that is used by AAOS’s internal team and all Registry members.

We then automated the manual process of checking files for correct field formatting and then sorting them into proper folders for processing. We developed internal reports with clear messages that indicate all errors associated with a record to help quickly identify and fix rejected records. And, the AAOS IT staff can now access in-depth detail reports for all jobs run, which include run times and number of records processed/updated/rejected.

Results

Besides relieving an overburdened IT staff, the new data automation capabilities allows AAOS to focus its efforts on expanding the Registry and attracting more users.

For the IT staff, automated data prep and staging has vastly improved their efficiency:

  • File reviews that initially took 2-6 hours can now be completed in 15-30 minutes.
  • Data processing that initially took 4-8 hours to complete at night now take 30 – 60 minutes.
  • Manual review process of rejected records was eliminated.
  • Instead of being restricted to nightly loads, AAOS staff can now process files multiple times a day.
  • Records can be fixed in minutes versus days.

The Registry itself has become more beneficial to its members because it contains more patient and procedural information, giving medical providers enhanced benchmarking data to measure their own performance and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, administratively, it’s easier for medical providers to review and validate the data they upload which creates a more reliable Registry.

Overall, there are now over 1,000 participating institutions in the Registry, which is a 13% year-over-year increase over 2016 and a 58% increase over 2015. With this increased participation, AAOS is achieving their mission to improve orthopaedic care through the collection, analysis, and reporting of actionable data.

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