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New Bone & Joint Institute Leader Looks to Data Analytics for Better Patient Care

January 27, 2020

In January 2017, the Hartford HealthCare Bone & Joint Institute (BJI) at Hartford Hospital opened to much anticipation. Now a new leader looks eagerly to the future of caring for people with musculoskeletal issues.

Dr. John Grady-Benson, who started as the BJI physician-in-chief in October, offers a quote from Galileo to sum up his vision for the institute, saying, “Measure what is measurable and make measurable what is not so.”

Dr. John Grady-Benson

Dr. John Grady-Benson

“It’s very important that we focus on outcomes that matter to most patients as we strive for continuous quality improvements and expanded research, education and innovation,” he said. “To be the so-called ‘best in class,’ we must focus on more than fixing bones and joints. Our focus must be on creating a patient-centric culture in which patient care becomes a deeply personal endeavor for all caretakers.”

To do that, Dr. Grady-Benson said the BJI team will adhere to the following principles and objectives:

  • Mining mine data analytics “at all touchpoints of care.”
  • Improving access to care.
  • Scrutinizing the appropriateness of care.
  • Coordinating and integrating care across a disease continuum.
  • Gearing services toward patient wellbeing, experience, engagement and satisfaction.
  • Delivering outcomes that matter to most patients.

“Data analytics are vital to this process because they provide the rationale for each of the other five objectives,” Dr. Grady-Benson said.

Data, when properly analyzed, can help patients choose the best surgeon for the outcomes they desire, as well as to understand what aspects of their health they need to optimize to ensure the safest surgical experience and minimize adverse affects, he continued.

“Data collection, analytics and discussions need to become ‘keystone habits’ of every BJI staff member, every day,” he said. “Healthcare delivery can no longer rely purely on trusted professionalist, ‘eminence’-based decisions or expert opinions. We must transform and realign the way we analyze data.”

Dr. Grady-Benson said he envisions a structure that is transparent, readily communicated and discussed openly. Patient-centered clinical care, as approached in every clinical care meeting, he said, should address the following questions:

  • How often are we right?
  • What data do we have to support this decision?
  • Which research question can help inform us to solve this clinical problem?

To achieve the desire data infrastructure, however, BJI physicians across all service lines need to follow standardized care protocols, he said. This helps staff send uniform messages to patients, which improves the efficiency of care, enhances patient education, decreases confusion, improves patient safety and allows a more real-time assessment of any adverse event.

In looking ahead, Dr. Grady-Benson said research, which he called a “life raft,” will be key to an evolution that keeps pace with patient expectations and needs. At the BJI, enhancing research efforts must include integration of clinical practice workflows and increasing efficiency of the Integrated Practice Units.

“We strive to be beyond compliance,” Dr. Grady-Benson said. “Data will be our common language and the exchanged intellectual currency. Curiosity will be our lifeblood. Research informs us how to create that environment.”

For more information on the services at the Bone & Joint Institute, click here.