March 7, 2014

UMass Memorial seeks joint replacement improvements

UMass Memorial Medical Center has been tapped as one of 32 medical centers worldwide to look at ways to improve costs and outcomes associated with total joint replacement.

The Worcester-based health system said it is the only organization in Massachusetts to participate in the Joint Replacement Learning Community program, led by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The organizations participating in the program will spend 2014 seeking the adoption of new methods that will improve outcomes per dollar spent on knee and hip replacements.

The medical centers will measure costs, analyze data and set improvement targets in their joint replacement departments. They'll also look at how their lessons can be applied to other procedures.

According to UMMMC, hip and knee replacements are the most common procedures for the Medicare population. It's predicted that the number of primary total knee replacements will skyrocket 673 percent by 2030, to 3.48 million annually, while hip replacements will jump 174 percent to 572,000 annually, UMMMC said.

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