New York, NY—May 1, 2013- May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. Although an estimated 9 million adults in the U.S. have osteoporosis and over 48 million adults have low bone mass, most will go undiagnosed and untreated. This disease, which is so often overlooked, leads to fragility fractures. Fragility fractures can be debilitating for the elderly and sometimes even deadly. Nearly 25% of patients who suffer a hip fracture die within one year. Most of these patients probably had experienced a more minor fracture previously due to osteoporosis, but the underlying disease went undiagnosed and untreated. In fact, 80% of Medicare patients do not receive recommended osteoporosis care following a fragility fracture. It’s time to bring attention and awareness to this silent public health epidemic.
Columbia Orthopaedics is one of over 100 health care institutions nationwide (including the initial site in the state of New York) that has taken initiative to ensure its osteoporotic fracture patients receive the treatment and care that they deserve. Through The American Orthopaedic Association’s (AOA) Own the Bone® program, a national web-based quality improvement registry, Columbia Orthopaedics has been provided the tools to establish a fracture liaison service (FLS)/secondary fracture prevention program. An FLS program utilizes a care coordinator to ensure that post-fracture patients are identified and receive appropriate evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. Columbia Orthopaedics has also incorporated Own the Bone’s 10 prevention measures to improve patient care, including: nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle counseling; pharmacotherapy recommendation and initiation (when applicable); bone mineral density testing recommendation and initiation; and communication regarding patient risk factors and recommendations via physician referral and patient education letters. The Own the Bone web-based registry offers institutions access to benchmarking capabilities that enable them to document improvements in patient care over time, as well as to compare results with other participating institutions nationwide.
Following a successful pilot program from 2005 – 2007, Columbia Orthopaedics reinstituted the Own the BoneTM program in 2009. Through the end of 2012, Columbia Orthopaedics has enrolled over 230 fragility fracture patients supplying each with an in-person educational training with family members in the hospital and more educational materials to take home.
In recognition of our efforts, Columbia Orthopaedics has been named an “Own the Bone Star Performer” with extraordinary compliance in all ten recommended prevention measures. NewYork-Presbyterian at Columbia University will be commended in the site recognition advertisement in the 2014 US News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” guide (published in late summer 2013).
To bring additional attention to this epidemic, Columbia Orthopaedics will have a preventing future fractures hand out in waiting rooms at all of our outpatient offices.
About the AOA
The American Orthopaedic Association, founded in 1887, is the oldest national orthopaedic association in the world. The AOA’s mission is to identify, develop, engage and recognize leadership to further the art and science of orthopaedics. For more information, visit www.aoassn.org or call (847)318-7336.