Larger operating rooms have better air quality than smaller rooms in primary total knee arthroplasty
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Operating room air quality can be affected by several factors including temperature, humidity, and airborne particle burden. Our study examines the role of operating room (OR) size on air quality and airborne particle (ABP) count in primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA). MATERIALS AND METHODS/METHODS:We analyzed all primary, elective TKAs performed within two ORs measuring 278 sq ft. (small) and 501 sq ft. (large) at a single academic institution in the United States from April 2019 to June 2020. Intraoperative measurements of temperature, humidity, and ABP count were recorded. p values were calculated using t test for continuous variables and chi-square for categorical values. RESULTS:91 primary TKA cases were included in the study, with 21 (23.1%) in the small OR and 70 (76.9%) in the large OR. Between-groups comparisons revealed significant differences in relative humidity (small OR 38.5% ± 7.24% vs. large OR 44.4% ± 8.01%, p = 0.002). Significant percent decreases in ABP rates for particles measuring 2.5 μm (- 43.9%, p = 0.007) and 5.0 μm (- 69.0%, p = 0.0024) were found in the large OR. Total time spent in the OR was not significantly different between the two groups (small OR 153.09 ± 22.3 vs. large OR 173 ± 44.6, p = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS:Although total time spent in the room did not differ between the large and small OR, there were significant differences in humidity and ABP rates for particles measuring 2.5 μm and 5.0 μm, suggesting the filtration system encounters less particle burden in larger rooms. Larger studies are required to determine the impact this may have on OR sterility and infection rates.
Streamlining orthopaedic trauma surgical care: do all patients need medical clearance?
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Preoperative medical optimization is necessary for safe and efficient care of the orthopaedic trauma patient. To improve care quality and value, a preoperative matrix was created to more appropriately utilize subspecialty consultation and avoid unnecessary consults, testing, and operating room delays. Our study compares surgical variables before and after implementation of the matrix to assess its utility. METHODS:A retrospective review of all orthopaedic trauma cases 6 months before and after the use of the matrix (2/2021-8/2021) was conducted an urban, level one trauma centre in collaboration with internal medicine, cardiology, anaesthesia, and orthopaedics. Patients were separated into two cohorts based on use of the matrix during the initial orthopaedic consultation. Logistic regressions were performed to limit significant differences in comorbidities. Independent samples t-tests and Chi-squared tests were used to compare means and proportions, respectively, between the two cohorts. RESULTS:In total, 576 patients were included in this study (281 pre- and 295 post-matrix implementation). Use of the matrix resulted in no significant difference in time to OR, LOS, readmissions, or ER visits; however, it resulted in 18% fewer overall preoperative consults for general trauma, and 25% fewer pre-operative consults for hip fractures. Older patients were more likely to require a consult regardless of matrix use. When controlling for comorbidities, patients with renal disease were at higher risk for increased LOS. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Use of an orthopaedic surgical matrix to predict preoperative subspecialty consultation is easy to implement and allows for better care utilization without a corresponding increase in complications and readmissions. Follow-up studies are needed to reassess the relationships between matrix use and a potential decrease in ER to OR time, and validate its use.
Influential Studies in Orthopaedic Platelet-Rich Plasma Research Are Recent and Consist of High Levels of Evidence: A Review of the Top 50 Most Cited Publications
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has garnered widespread and increasing attention in recent years. We aimed to characterize the most influential articles in PRP research while clarifying controversies surrounding its use and clinical efficacy and identifying important areas on which to focus future research efforts. The Science Citation Index Expanded subsection of the Web of Science Core Collection was systematically searched to identify the top 50 cited publications on orthopedic PRP research. Publication and study characteristics were extracted, and Spearman's correlations were calculated to assess the relationship between citation data and level of evidence. The top 50 articles were published between the years 2005 and 2016, with 68% published in the year 2010 or later. Of the 33 studies for which level of evidence was assessed, the majority were of level I or II (18, 54.5%). Seventeen articles (34%) were classified as basic science. All clinical studies were prospective, and most (12 studies, 60%) included a high number of metrics related to the PRP preparation protocol and composition. Knee osteoarthritis was the most common topic among clinical studies in the top 50 cited articles (11 studies, 34%). More recent articles were associated with higher citation rates (Ïâ€‰=â€‰0.46, pâ€‰<â€‰0.001). The most influential articles on orthopaedic PRP research are recent and consist of high-level of evidence studies mostly. Randomized controlled trials were the most common study type, while basic science articles were relatively less common. The most influential clinical studies reported a high number of metrics related to their PRP preparation protocol and the final PRP composition. These results suggest a rapidly evolving field with the potential to better explain inconsistent clinical results with improved understanding and documentation of basic science concepts such as PRP composition, preparation, and combination techniques.
Trends in Revenue and Cost for Revision Total Knee Arthroplasty
BACKGROUND:Over the past decade, reimbursement models and target payments have been modified in an effort to decrease costs of revision total knee arthroplasty (rTKA) while maintaining the quality of care. The goal of this study was to investigate trends in revenue and costs associated with rTKA. METHODS:We retrospectively reviewed all patients who underwent rTKA between 2011 and 2021 at our institution. Patients were stratified into groups based on insurance coverage: Medicare, government-managed or Medicaid (GMM), or commercial insurance. Patient demographics were collected, as well as revenue, costs, and contribution margin (CM) of the inpatient episode. Changes over time as a percentage of 2011 numbers were analyzed. Linear regressions were used to determine trend significance. In the 10-year study period, 1,698 patients were identified with complete financial data. RESULTS:Overall total cost has increased significantly (P < .01). While revenues and CM for Medicare and Commercial patients remained steady between 2011 and 2021, CM for GMM patients decreased significantly (P = .01) to a low of 53.2% of the 2011 values. Since 2018, overall CM and revenues decreased significantly (P = .05, P = .01, respectively). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:While from 2011 to 2018 general revenues and CM were relatively steady, since 2018 they have decreased significantly to their lowest values in over a decade for GMM and commercial patients. This trend is concerning and may potentially lead to decreased access to care. Re-evaluation of reimbursement models for rTKA may be necessary to ensure the financial viability of this procedure and prevent issues with access to care. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:III.
Trends in Revision Total Hip Arthroplasty Cost, Revenue, and Contribution Margin 2011 to 2021
BACKGROUND:Revision total hip arthroplasty (rTHA) is a costly procedure, and its prevalence has been steadily increasing over time. This study aimed to examine trends in hospital cost, revenue, and contribution margin (CM) in patients undergoing rTHA. METHODS:We retrospectively reviewed all patients who underwent rTHA from June 2011 to May 2021 at our institution. Patients were stratified into groups based on insurance coverage: Medicare, government-managed Medicaid, or commercial insurance. Patient demographics, revenue (any payment the hospital received), direct cost (any cost associated with the surgery and hospitalization), total cost (the sum of direct and indirect costs), and CM (the difference between revenue and direct cost) were collected. Changes over time as a percentage of 2011 numbers were analyzed. Linear regression analyses were used to determine the overall trend's significance. Of the 1,613 patients identified, 661 were covered by Medicare, 449 by government-managed Medicaid, and 503 by commercial insurance plans. RESULTS:Medicare patients exhibited a significant upward trend in revenue (P < .001), total cost (P = .004), direct cost (P < .001), and an overall downward trend in CM (P = .037), with CM for these patients falling to 72.1% of 2011 values by 2021. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:In the Medicare population, reimbursement for rTHA has not matched increases in cost, leading to considerable reductions in CM. These trends affect the ability of hospitals to cover indirect costs, threatening access to care for patients who require this necessary procedure. Reimbursement models for rTHA should be reconsidered to ensure the financial feasibility of these procedures for all patient populations.
Hospital Revenue, Cost, and Contribution Margin in Inpatient vs. Outpatient Primary Total Joint Arthroplasty
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Removal of primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and primary total hip arthroplasty (THA) from the inpatient-only (IPO) list has financial implications for both patients and institutions. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare financial parameters between patients designated for inpatient versus outpatient total joint arthroplasty (TJA) surgery. METHODS:We reviewed all patients who underwent TKA or THA after these procedures were removed from the IPO list. Patients were stratified into cohorts based on inpatient or outpatient status, procedure type, and insurance type. This included 5,284 patients, of which 4,279 were designated inpatient while 1,005 were designated outpatient. Patient demographic, perioperative, and financial data including per patient revenues, total and direct costs, and contribution margins (CMs) were collected. Data were compared using t-tests and Chi-square tests. RESULTS:Among Medicare patients receiving THA, CM was 89.1% lower for the inpatient cohort when compared to outpatient (p<0.001), though there was no significant difference between cohorts for TKA (p=0.501). Among patients covered by Medicaid or Government-managed plans, CM was 120.8% higher for inpatients receiving THA (p<0.001) when compared to outpatients and 136.3% higher for inpatients receiving TKA (p<0.001). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Our analyses showed that recent costs associated with inpatient stay inconsistently match or outpace additional revenue, causing CM to vary drastically depending on insurance and procedure type. For Medicare patients receiving THA, inpatient surgery is financially disincentivized leaving this vulnerable patient population at risk of losing access to care.
The Temporality of Deep Surgical Site Infection Rates Following Spinal Laminectomy and Fusion
BACKGROUND:Deep surgical site infections (dSSI) following spinal laminectomy and fusion are serious complications associated with poor patient outcomes. The objective of this study is to investigate the monthly and seasonal variability of dSSI rates following common spinal surgeries to investigate the "July effect," which refers to the alleged increase in adverse health outcomes due to new hospital trainees at the beginning of the academic year. METHODS:We performed a retrospective analysis of patients who had a dSSI following laminectomy (without fusion) or spinal fusion (with or without laminectomy) at a single large urban academic medical center between January 2009 and August 2018. The change in dSSI rate over the entire study period was calculated. The monthly and seasonal variability of dSSI were assessed using a Poisson regression model to assess for the presence of the July effect. RESULTS:= 0.04 ). With July as the reference month, there was a significantly higher dSSI rate in April following spinal fusions. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:The overall decrease in dSSI rate over the study period is consistent with previous reports. The monthly analysis revealed no significant differences in either procedure, calling into question the July effect. CLINICAL RELEVANCE/CONCLUSIONS:This study is relevant to practicing spinal surgeons and can inform surgeons about seasonal data regarding dSSIs. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3/METHODS/:
Assessing the Adequacy and Readability of Surgical Consents in Orthopedic Surgery
BACKGROUND:Handwritten consent forms for medical treatment are commonly used despite the associated risk of documentation errors. We performed an internal audit of handwritten surgical consent forms to assess the quality of consenting practices within the department of hand surgery at our orthopedic specialty hospital. METHODS:A sample of 1,800 charts was selected. Con- sents were assessed for procedure type, physician details, abbreviations, consistency, and legibility. RESULTS:A total of 1,309 charts met the inclusion crite- ria. Two hundred and eight consents contained at least one illegible word. The name of the consenting physician was not listed or illegible on 114 forms. Medical abbreviations were found on 1.8% of all included forms, and 19 consent forms contained a crossed-out word or correction. CONCLUSIONS:Although the majority of the handwrit- ten consent forms were complete, accurate, and legible, there were notable errors in the consenting process at our institution. Documentation errors have medical and ethical ramifications. Further research into consenting practices is necessary to improve the quality of consent forms and the process of informed consent.
Lack of Seasonal and Temporal Variability in Total Hip Arthroplasty Surgical Site Infections
BACKGROUND:Surgical site infections (SSIs) are a signifi- cant cause of morbidity and mortality following total joint arthroplasty (TJA). While many risk factors are known, the seasonal and temporal associations of SSI are less under- stood. Understanding the associations can help reduce SSI rates. METHODS:We tracked rates of deep surgical site infec- tions (dSSIs) following total hip arthroplasty (THA) at a single large urban academic medical center from January 2009 through August 2018. Using a Poisson regression, we determined the monthly and seasonal variability of dSSIs. We also calculated the change in dSSI rate over the entire 9.67-year study period. RESULTS:In total, 15,703 THA cases between January 2009 and August 2018 were analyzed. There was no signifi- cant difference in the dSSI rate following THA in fall, winter, or spring as compared to summer. Similarly, there was no significant difference in dSSIs in July as compared to other months of the year. The average rate of dSSIs following THA was 1.04 (SD, 0.90) per 100 patients. The dSSI rate following THA decreased over the study period (r = 0.93, 95% CI: 0.84-1.03) but did not reach statistical significance. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:This study demonstrated a non-significant, albeit decreasing, rate of dSSIs following THA over the study period. Contrary to previous reports, there was no difference in the dSSI rate in the summer months as compared to other seasons. The month of the year also does not appear to be a significant risk factor for SSIs, calling into question previous reports arguing for the importance of the "July effect."
RAPT Scores Predict Inpatient Versus Outpatient Status and Readmission Rates After IPO Changes for Total Joint Arthroplasty: An Analysis of 12,348 Cases
BACKGROUND:Changes to Medicare's Inpatient Only List (IPO) and factors associated with the COVID pandemic have led to more total joint arthroplasty (TJA) patients to be designated as outpatient (OP). This potentially complicates postoperative care for patients with lower functional status and poor social support. These factors make the decision between OP versus inpatient (IP) designation particularly challenging for healthcare teams. The Risk Assessment and Prediction Tool (RAPT) was designed to indicate patient risk for needing posthospital discharge to facility and considers social and functional factors. The purpose of this study is to 1) evaluate the correlation of RAPT as a clinical tool to aid decision-making regarding OP versus IP for Total Hip and Knee Arthroplasty (THA and TKA), 2) assess the impact of recent changes to the IPO and the COVID pandemic on OP TJA readmission rates, and 3) determine whether 90-day readmissions are correlated with RAPT scores after OP TJA. METHODS:We identified all elective TKA and THA patients from 2015 through 2021 in our electronic health record at our large, urban, academic health system. Fracture patients were excluded. For those patients with available RAPT scores, we determined OP and IP designations, with IP defined as those with length-of-stay 2 midnights or more. We performed subanalysis of OP between same-day and next-day discharge. RAPT scores and readmission rates were compared at time points related to changes in the IPO: before TKA removal in 2018 (period A), from 2018 until THA removal in 2020 (Period B), and after January 1, 2020, inclusive of impact from the COVID pandemic (Period C). RESULTS:Reviewed were 11,819 elective TKAs and 10,212 elective THAs. RAPT scores were available for 6,759 TKA patients and 5,589 THA patients. For both TKA and THA, RAPT scores between IP, same-day, and next-day discharged OP were significantly different across all time periods (P < .001). The percentage of OP designation increased across all time periods for TKA and THA. Over these same time periods, mean RAPT scores decreased significantly for both OP TKA and OP THA (P < .01). Concurrent with these changes were significant increases in OP THA 90-day readmission rates across Periods A and B (PÂ = .010) as well as A and C (PÂ = .006). Readmitted OP TKA had significantly lower RAPT scores than OP TKA without readmission during Period B (P < .001). Readmitted OP THA had significantly lower RAPT scores than those without readmission for all periods (P < .05). To facilitate clinical utility, median RAPT scores were also analyzed, and showed that RAPT scores for OP THA patients with readmission were 1 to 2 points lower for all time periods. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:RAPT scores correlate with IP versus OP status for both TKA and THA and vary significantly with same-day versus next-day discharge. OP TJA RAPT scores may also help predict readmission, and counsel some patients away from OP surgery. Average RAPT scores of 10, 9, and 8 appeared to be separators for same day, next day, and inpatient stay. Changes to the IPO and COVID pandemic correlate with decrease in RAPT scores for both TKA and THA patients within all designations. In addition, a shift toward lower RAPT for OP TJA correlates with increased 90-day readmission rates for OP TJA. Taken together, these results suggest that patients with poorer function and worse social support systems are increasingly being driven toward OP surgery by these changes, which may play a role in increasing readmission rates. Social support and functional factors should be considered for OP elective TKA and THA. Further, any OP TJA value-based payment system must account for these variables.