Southeast Georgia Health System recently received recognition as a 2021 Own the Bone Star Performer for
achieving an exceptional compliance rate on 10 prevention measures in
the American Orthopedic Association’s® Own the Bone Program.
This is the eighth year the Health System has achieved this status.
Summit Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery, a strategic affiliate of the Health System, 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 Orthopedic 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. 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
Through its participation in Own the Bone’s national quality improvement
registry, the Health System has demonstrated its commitment to helping
patients understand their risk for future fractures and the steps they
can take to prevent them. The registry incorporates 10 measures for reducing
future fractures and provides tools to document, track and benchmark care
of fragility fracture patients.
Program champion and board-certified orthopaedic surgeon,
J. Melvin Deese Jr., 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 rate within one year
of a fragility fracture of the hip approaches 50 percent in patients over
age 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 to
prevent recurrent injuries and helps to restore at least some of their
Deese adds, “The Health System team has earned national recognition
for our Own the Bone performance eight times now and I’m darn proud
of it. This is one of the most relevant disease prevention programs in
the country and the Star Performer rating is proof that our orthopaedic
program is exceptional on a national basis.”