November, 2018 – Southeast Georgia Health System has been recognized
as a 2019 Own the Bone Star Performer for achieving an exceptional compliance
rate on 10 prevention measures in the American Orthopaedic Association’s®
Own the Bone Program. This is the fifth consecutive year the Health System
has achieved this status.
Summit Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery, a strategic affiliate of the Health System, has implemented Own the Bone,
a quality improvement program aimed to better identify, evaluate and treat
patients that suffer from an osteoporosis or low bone density-related
fragility fracture (a broken bone that results from a fall from standing
height or less). The program, developed by the American Orthopaedic Association,
brings focus to the severe health implications of fragility fractures
and the multi-faceted approach hospitals or clinics can employ to ensure
these patients receive the most comprehensive care.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, up to 50 percent of
all women and 25 percent of men over age 50 will sustain fragility fractures
in their remaining lifetime. The American Bone Health Prevalence Report
states that more people in the United States suffer a fragility fracture
each year than are diagnosed with a heart attack, stroke or breast cancer
combined and is projected to significantly increase as the population
ages. Studies also show that patients who have had a fragility fracture
are two to four times more likely to experience another fracture than
those who have never had a fracture. That is, once a patient experiences
a fracture, they are very likely to get another one. Additionally, only
one in five Medicare patients received the osteoporosis care they needed
after a fracture, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
Leading the Way in Post-Fracture Patient Care
The Health System has demonstrated a commitment to helping patients understand
their risk for future fractures and the steps they can take to prevent
them through participation in Own the Bone’s national quality improvement
registry. The registry incorporates 10 measures for reducing future fractures
and provides tools to document, track and benchmark care of fragility
Program Champion and board-certified orthopaedic surgeon,
J. Melvin Deese, M.D. states, “We are all proud of our orthopaedic team for maintaining
such a high level of care and awareness of this very dangerous disease.
Osteoporosis is the cause of fragility fractures that are most commonly
seen in patients over 50 years old. The mortality within one year of a
fragility fracture of the hip approaches 50 percent in patients over 75.
Recognition of these injuries and timely coordinated care by the entire
team from nurses, primary care doctors, endocrinologists, rheumatologists
as well as orthopedic surgeons who assist with these patients helps prevent
recurrent injury and restore at least some of their bone strength. The
Health System team has earned national recognition for our success for
five years in a row and I’m darn proud of it.”
For more information about Southeast Georgia Health System’s program,
please contact Gwen Gratto-Cox, coordinator, Clinical Research at 912-466-7379.