> Skip repeated content

Operating Room Computer Program Improves Care and Could Save U.S. Health Care System Millions

OrthoSecureTM Software Improves Joint Replacement Surgeries

New York—March 3, 2014

Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is the first hospital in the country to utilize a novel computer-based system for operating rooms that is designed to improve the care of patients undergoing a knee or hip replacement and to minimize the number of implant parts that are erroneously opened and not used. The system, OrthoSecureTM was developed by a Princeton-based technology firm in collaboration with HSS. OrthoSecureTM could lead to significant saving to the U.S. health care industry. In addition to the savings from increased efficiency, an article published in the January Journal of Arthroplasty demonstrates the system reduces costs by eliminating wasted knee and hip implants.

"Most implant mismatches are caught before they go into people, but the parts are expensive, so if you throw one away because you realized the error before you put it in, you have wasted thousands of dollars," said Dr. Steven Haas, M.D., M.P.H., Chief of the Knee Service at HSS, and senior author of the study.

Each joint replacement implant is composed of multiple components. A variety of factors can cause a joint replacement part to be opened and not used. These include contamination of the parts upon opening, damage to the parts by a surgical team member, and the inadvertent selection of mismatched parts. Implantation of a mismatched component is a serious event, which can lead to pain, disability and early failure of the implant. These errors often require further surgeries to correct problems.

"Medical errors have been recognized as an inexcusable source of patient complications and hospital costs," said David Mayman, M.D., orthopedic surgeon at HSS who has had experience with the system.  “OrthoSecureTM is an elegant, easy to use electronic system that can minimize or eliminate implant errors in the operating room."

OrthoSecureTM was developed by Sandance Technologies (Princeton, New Jersey) and then tested and validated by, and modified and improved based on input from, surgeon investigators at HSS as well as staff from HSS Perioperative Services, Information Technology, and Operational Excellence. OrthoSecureTM involves a computer program, barcodes, and a barcode scanner. Each implant part box has two barcodes, one that identifies what part it is and another that identifies the lot and expiration date. When a clinician scans a barcode, OrthoSecureTM, which recognizes most knee and hip replacement components now on the market, inputs the product information and displays it in a common label format on a large LCD screen. This "e .Label" includes pertinent information, such as the size, the side (left or right), and how the component is fixed to the bone. As a clinician scans all of the components of the implant (such as, for a knee implant, the tibia, femur, patella, and tibial insert), OrthoSecureTM determines whether the parts are compatible and, if not, displays an error message. In addition, OrthoSecureTM checks compatibility with a barcode that has been added to the patient consent form.

In addition to direct cost savings, the functionality of OrthoSecure lends itself to patient-centered care and greater overall efficiency. HSS has linked OrthoSecure to its inventory control and patient documentation software systems to enhance the workflow of the nursing staff and materials management; this translates to a direct reallocation of nursing time back to the patient, as well as improved inventory management. Further, the recently added web-based ordering module allows surgeons to provide implant orders electronically, thereby reducing errors in the order entry process and enabling delivery of implants directly to the operating room.

Other HSS investigators involved in the study were Michael Ast, M.D., David Mayman, M.D., Edwin Su, M.D., Alejandro Gonzalez-Della Valle, M.D., Michael Parks, M.D., and Mathias Bostrom, M.D.


About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the ninth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S.News & World Report (2018-2019). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. People from all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries travelled to receive care at HSS. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The culture of innovation is accelerating at HSS as 130 new idea submissions were made to the Global Innovation Institute in 2017 (almost 3x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute is the world’s leading provider of education on the topic on musculoskeletal health, with its online learning platform offering more than 600 courses to more than 21,000 medical professional members worldwide. Through HSS Global Ventures, the institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.


Need Help Finding a Physician?

Call us toll-free at:

Conditions & Treatments

adult child
Select A Body Part
Conditions: Adult head Conditions: Adult spine Conditions: Adult shoulder Conditions: Adult elbow Conditions: Adult hand Conditions: Adult hip Conditions: Adult knee Conditions: Adult ankle Conditions: Adult head Conditions: Adult full body Conditions: Child spine Conditions: Child elbow Conditions: Child hip Conditions: Child hand Conditions: Child knee Conditions: Child ankle Conditions: Child full body

Conditions A-Z

Media Contacts

Tracy Hickenbottom
Monique Irons
Sherry Randolph


Social Media Contacts