> Skip repeated content

Researchers at HSS Receive Grant to Study Outcomes with Consistent Operating Room Staff

New York, NY—September 8, 2017

A team led by Alexander S. McLawhorn, MD, MBA and Meghan Kirksey, MD, PhD at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) has been awarded the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) Perioperative Surgical and Medical Home Patient Safety Research Grant. The $135,000 grant will go towards developing new methods to quantify operative team consistency and evaluate its impact on patient and hospital outcomes after total joint replacement surgery.

It is commonly believed in the surgical community that consistent operating teams can drive both operational efficiency and clinical quality. However, few studies have investigated the scientific relationship between team membership and surgical outcomes.

"Our findings will have significant policy implications as the benefits we will outline will help implement hospital protocols on consistent operating teams, which often can be a challenge," said Dr. McLawhorn, co-principal investigator and hip and knee surgeon at HSS.

New staffing models, based on this research, may help minimize adverse events in hospital settings. The developed measures will provide an innovative, real-time mechanism for hospitals to assess their ability to improve efficiency and surgical outcomes.

"Interdisciplinary collaboration is incredibly important in order to achieve maximal patient safety in the perioperative environment," said Dr. Kirksey, co-principal investigator and anesthesiologist at HSS. "Having a research team comprised of both surgeons and anesthesiologists allows us to truly review the operative team approach from all angles."

Over two years, the research team will explore this concept in the controlled environment of high-volume hip and knee replacements at HSS, by evaluating approximately 35,000 joint replacements. The hospital has been ranked No. 1 in orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018) for the past eight years.

This study aims to identify the composition of operating teams, evaluate the relationship between team composition and patient outcomes, and determine the association between team composition and operational performance.

"It’s important to find the right balance for an operative team unit," added Dr. McLawhorn. "A team should develop cohesiveness and trust that will result in efficiency without compromising patient safety."

The other investigators include Mayu Sasaki; Stephen Lyman, PhD; Scott DeNegre, PhD; David Grace; Steven Magid, MD; Nathaniel Hupert; Jingyan Yang; and Justin Do.

Additional sponsors of the grant include American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER), the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF), the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), and the Cigna Foundation.


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 of 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