American Joint Replacement Registry

In its continuing mission to provide the best patient care possible, Southeast Georgia Health System announced recently that it has become a member of the American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR), an independent, not-for-profit database designed to store comprehensive data about joint replacement procedures.

“More than a million hip and knee replacements are performed each year in the U.S., and that number is expected to increase as more and more men and women remain active as they get older,” said Melvin Deese, M.D., board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and medical director of the Southeast Georgia Health System Orthopaedic & Spine Center.

“Joining the AJRR will help ensure that we can continue to provide patients with the best care possible,” added Deese. “We’re the first Health System in the state of Georgia to join the registry. By participating with other hospitals in sharing information about artificial joint performance and physician and patient experiences, we can help joint replacement procedures become safer nationwide.”

According to Deese, the majority of replacement surgeries are successful, offering patients years of trouble-free use and helping patients resume their regular activities of daily living. But a few patients – about 7.5 percent according to 2006 figures – experience problems following surgery that require the artificial joint to be replaced.

The AJRR serves as a central clearinghouse for information about joint replacements performed at Southeast Georgia Health System and other member hospitals and medical centers throughout the country that participate in the registry. The AJRR aims to carefully monitor the artificial joint throughout a recipient’s lifetime in a database containing information about the patient, the surgeon who performed the procedure and the hospital or medical center where the procedure took place. The data collected will help doctors more quickly identify joints that are performing poorly, and will help them match patients, procedures and devices to ensure that every patient has the best experience possible.

By offering a single source of data, doctors and other health care professionals who use the registry can easily access data from medical centers around the country and use that information to help them make more informed recommendations to their patients. Registry information about patient outcomes will also help artificial joint manufacturers improve their products and identify potentially faulty products, and can help reduce health care costs associated with replacement procedures and follow-up care. All data collected by the AJRR remains confidential to protect patient privacy.