Yahoo! Finance—July 20, 2011
"Recent studies suggest that mortality within one year after hip fracture repair increases significantly if the time from hospital admission to surgery exceeds 48 hours and that systems-based factors contribute to delay in surgery," said Christopher J. Dy, MD, MSPH, orthopaedic surgery resident physician at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and the study's lead author. "Our study evaluated whether two strategies for reallocating hospital resources provide cost-effective means of optimizing care. The results show that systems-based solutions to minimize operative delay, such as a dedicated on-call support team, can be cost-effective. In addition, an evaluation-focused intervention can be potentially cost-saving in a high-volume surgical center."
In a separate Commentary and Perspective, Mininder S. Kocher, MD, MPH, associate director of the Division of Sports Medicine and director of the Clinical Effectiveness Research Unit at Children's Hospital Boston, said the study addresses "an important clinical problem that results in high costs and high mortality and morbidity: hip fracture. The annual health care cost associated with hip fractures in the U.S. is estimated to exceed $10 billion, and the one year mortality rate associated with a hip fracture has been estimated to be between 12 percent and 37 percent." He urged both orthopaedic surgeons and hospitals to consider implementing such strategies and evaluating their costs and outcomes in prospective studies.
Study Details and Major Findings
The study is entitled, "An Economic Evaluation of a Systems-Based Strategy to Expedite Surgical Treatment of Hip Fractures." In addition to Dr. Dy, the authors included Kathryn E. McCollister, PhD assistant professor/health economist, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Miami School of Medicine; David A. Lubarsky, MD, MBA, professor and chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine and Pain Management at the University of Miami School of Medicine, chief of the Anesthesiology Service at Jackson Memorial Hospital, professor of management at University of Miami School of Business; and senior author Joseph M. Lane, MD, chief of the metabolic bone disease service and associate director of the Orthopaedic Trauma Service at Hospital for Special Surgery.
Disclosure: The authors have nothing related to this study to disclose.