May 5, 2010


COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) is the first in Tennessee to implement the American Orthopaedic Association’s Own the Bone™ Program, according to Carey Albright, administrative director of orthopaedic and neurologic services.

The program is aimed to better identify, evaluate and treat patients that suffer from an osteoporosis or low bone density-related fragility fracture (a broken bone that results from a fall from standing height or less). The program brings focus to the severe health implications of fragility fractures and the multi-faceted approach hospitals can employ to ensure these patients receive the most comprehensive care.

“We felt that it was vital to identify individuals at-risk in an effort to decrease the risk of fracture. With the help of physician leaders, we have successfully implemented a program that will help individuals maintain a healthy active lifestyle,” said Carey Albright.

Statistics surrounding this health issue are alarming. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), up to 50% of all women and 25% of men over the age of 50 years will sustain fragility fractures in their remaining lifetime. The American Bone Health Prevalence Report states that more people in the United States suffer a fragility fracture each year than are diagnosed with a heart attack (MI), stroke or breast cancer combined and is projected to significantly increase as the population ages. Studies show that patients who have had a fragility fracture are two to five times more likely to experience another fracture than those who have never had a fracture. In addition, the National Committee for Quality Assurance reports that only one in five Medicare patients have received the osteoporosis care they needed after a fracture.

Jeff Adams, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon on the medical staff, led the efforts to institute this program at MRMC.

“We are treating numerous patients over the age of 50 with fractures, most often the result of poor bone density caused by osteoporosis. Our goal was to take steps to reduce future fractures for these at-risk patients. We schedule them for a bone density scan to determine the extent of the disease, prescribe calcium and osteoporosis medications, and provide nutritional consultations with a registered dietitian,” said Adams.

Adams and the staff at MRMC wanted to measure the affects of their efforts and implemented the Own the Bone Program. The Own the Bone Program is a national Web-based quality improvement registry that incorporates 10 measures for reducing future fractures and provides MRMC with immediate feedback on program performance to measure the medical center’s success and helps benchmark MRMC against other institutions. With Own the Bone, MRMC reduces this huge treatment gap and ensures that patients with fragility fractures are screened and appropriately treated for low bone density or osteoporosis. 

By simply entering information in the Web-based data registry, results can be immediately quantified and health care providers can begin to see how their actions are positively affecting patient care. The program is able to produce internal and external benchmarking results that reflect how MRMC patients are being positively affected by Own the Bone.

“A comprehensive, multi-specialty approach will greatly reduce repeat fragility fractures for at-risk patients,” said Douglas R. Dirschl, chair of the American Orthopaedic Association’s Critical Issues Committee. “Own the Bone gives hospitals or clinics the tools needed to address and curb this major health crisis.”