ROYAL OAK — With more than 14,000 orthopedic surgeries a year at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, there’s plenty of information available to build up an impressive research program. All that was left to do was capture the information. Enter Ortech.

Ortech is “a Web-based software program that physicians are using in the operating rooms,” said Kevin Baker, Ph.D., manager of Beaumont’s Orthopaedic Research Labs. “During surgery, surgeons enter data about the patient, the surgical procedure and the orthopedic implants used. We then compare procedures, devices, outcomes and more to learn how effective treatments are for patients.”

Using Ortech won’t just help with research. Reimbursements, quality control and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid reporting are all being increasingly tied to outcomes, and this program will help track them.

“Basically, Ortech acts as a registry to improve research processes before, during and after surgeries,” Baker said. “We do so many ortho surgeries here each year, we have a lot of useful data to collect and Ortech offers an efficient solution.”

A primary objective of this program is to interface with the newly created American Joint Replacement Registry, which is a national database on total hip and knee replacement surgeries. Prior to Ortech, researchers had to dig through paper files and search though as many as six different databases for information. The new system streamlines that process, housing all the information in a single, searchable electronic database.

The orthopedic research team can also use the data to learn the effectiveness of a procedure or device.

“To date, there’s been no real way to track the devices as they’re implanted,” Baker said. “Now, we can track the devices and connect this new information with what we’ve been gathering through our implant retrieval program, a growing repository of more than 6,000 explanted orthopedic devices, and should have some very interesting, useful data.”

The first phase of the project only uses Ortech in the orthopedic operating rooms for joint replacement and spine procedures. But the hope is to extend the program into physician offices, so data will be available from the time a patient goes to the doctor to their last follow-up appointment. This information could help with pain relief, range of motion and traditional outcomes measures.  Eventually, all subspecialties of orthopedics including Sports Medicine, Trauma, Hand & Upper Extremity, Foot & Ankle, Shoulder & Elbow and Pediatrics will use Ortech.

Implementation of Ortech was made possible through philanthropic support, including a gift from the Sidney and Madeline Forbes family.


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