Providence St. Joseph Health leveraged data to reduce its knee replacement costs by more than $1 million a year.
Lack of robust data analysis impedes care improvement efforts
The Renton, Wash.-based integrated health system first analyzed what drove variation across its 51-hospital network and targeted the use of antibiotic-infused bone cement. Hypothetically, it can stave off infections.
But the pre-mixed product added significant cost without substantial evidence that it was effective. Looking at a two-year data set of about 20,000 knee replacements performed at Providence St. Joseph, there wasn't a distinct difference in the quality data for patients who received cement infused with antibiotics and cement without it.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.