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 Hospital for Special Surgery
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. HSS is an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. HSS has locations in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.


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