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NHIA and Medical Community Jointly Promote Artificial Joint Registry to Safeguard Patient Safety

  More than ten years ago, metal interface artificial joints, then declared to be the latest technology, were commonly used in young patients who require high mobility. Thanks to the artificial joint registry in the United Kingdom that made evidence-finding possible through the overhauled big data, and gave warnings early on, countless young patients with hip joint problems around the world were saved from the pain associated with secondary surgery, and permanent disability. Artificial implant registries are currently available in advanced countries such as Sweden, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. In the case of Sweden, for example, since the system was enforced, the artificial total hip joint re-replacement rate has dropped from 17% to 7%.

  For the safety of patients, the NHIA and the medical community started to jointly promote the artificial joint registry in January 2016. In the beginning, the focus was on a total of 7 surgeries that are relatively more frequently performed such as total knee replacement, total hip replacement, and partial replacement in combination with plastic surgery. There were around 48 thousand cases in 2015. The registry includes information such as the height and weight of the patient, surgical access and anesthesia risk category, and the barcode of the medical device implanted as the artificial joint, uploaded by the hospital to facilitate long-term follow-up on the prognosis of the implant. It is hoped that the artificial joint registry will help provide warnings on suboptimal products to help reduce safety-related accidents and death rate in patients and improve the quality of medical care.

  In addition, in order for patients to keep track of their own surgical history, the NHIA is planning to include information such as the healthcare facility where the surgery take place and the time, reason, and contents of the surgery in My Health Bank (surgery passbook) for people to make inquiries about. If hospitals upload information of the artificial joint implant, the patient receiving the joint surgery can also find information of the artificial joint implanted inside his/her body in My Health Bank.

  To protect patients' rights and to improve the quality of medical care in Taiwan, the NHIA has established the Virtual Private Network (VPN), and provides healthcare facilities with incentives to encourage them to search real-time medical information of their patients. Hospitals offering joint surgeries are called upon to cooperate by uploading artificial joint implant information and taking part in the joint effort to establish the artificial implant database in Taiwan that helps safeguard patient safety.

  • Date:2016-10-04