Monday, December 11, 2006

Hip Fractures

This past weekend, the Boston Globe began running a three-part series examining the impact of hip fractures on the lives of elderly patients. The articles focus on the life-altering experience that this injury often proves to be, demonstrating its impact on patients and their families as well as on the health care system.

Over the course of the past 18 months, Globe reporter Alice Dembner and photographer Bill Greene followed a number of hip-fracture patients beginning with their admission to BIDMC, through their surgeries and hospitalization to their post-operative recovery in rehabilitation and nursing home settings, and finally, in their homes. (Of course, the patients and families gave permission to be followed in this way, and then written about.) Among the current BIDMC physicians participating in this long-range project were orthopedic surgeons Doug Ayres and Edward Rodriguez and gerontologists Suzanne Salamon and Katy Agarwal.

The series began on Sunday, Dec. 10 and appeared both in print and on the Globe’s website, (where extra features are available.) As part of the project, Dr. Salamon will also participate in an online "web chat" Tuesday, Dec. 12 from noon to 1 p.m. This web session is expected to kick off a new Globe/ weekly feature entitled "Ask the Doc." Here are the links to Part I and Part II and the sidebar features associated with the main stories.

I think you will agree that this is a powerful set of stories, laying raw human emotions in front of all us to see. Congratulations to the Globe for allocating the resources to this project and to the reporter and photographer for presenting it in an incredibly thoughtful and sensitive way.


Anonymous said...

I read the articles and have decided that BI is where I will go if I break a hip. the article was exceptionally well done. Just pure writing and reporting. None of the Globe's sometime "slant". I was stunned to learn of the high death rate in the first year. I guess I didn't think about it or how much influence attitude might have on recovery. My son had a hip replaced a couple of years ago at not quite 40 years old (total arthritic degeneration only at that spot in his body). He has since totally recovered, but he is young. Since reading the article, I have looked at my house with different eyes. It would be hard to recuperate there. He managed very well, but would I.

Anonymous said...

This is so sobering. My gosh.

Here are links to Part 3 and the top page of the whole feature, which has lots of additional material.

Unknown said...


My appologies for this off topic rant. I'm not really sure where I should post this..

My name is R.J. Thompson and I was just reading your blog ( which I find very full of fresh ideas by the way ). I found it really made me feel a little better about the world knowing people like you exist and are in CEO positions. It seems you have an open mind to technology.

I am a developer at Neoteric support. I write software for hospitals. Our business used to be focused on patient care and safety but unfortunately hospitals don’t have the wisdom to find the value in these things because it doesn’t directly relate to dollars. As you know patient care does save money but it is a very hard selling point because it does it in round about ways that bean counters can’t seem to count. So we are shelving our patient care focus and focusing more on saving blood bags which has been an effective business case for us because they are simply 500$ each. What a shame! We can save money with technology but not lives! I think it’s because the hospital CEO’s don’t seem to have any wisdom or power.

Please take a look at the software I wrote which is pretty much sitting on a shelf.

This following link has an article that shows how our software prevents death but nobody really cares about that, only money.

It also seems that insurance companies block our software from getting into hospitals. Maybe you can shed some light on this for me and tell me why you wouldn’t buy what I worked so hard on.

p.s. I am in no way connected to the marketing department or P.R. department so I apologize if I have in any way offended you by this post. It is not my intent to offend you or anyone. I am frustrated and writing this post on my own accord.

Again my apologies for this off topic post.

Thank you all for your time,

Anonymous said...

I posted this, not to advertise this person's product, but to take the chance to explain that we are BOMBARDED by companies with interesting and often good products. We usually adopt them only after they have been proven to be efficacious and cost-effective in multiple settings. Some things that look really good are to expensive, or sometimes they don't actually solve the problem they say they will solve, or sometimes because they interfere with other important functions in the hospital. I don't know where this product stands in the range of excellent to bad and would welcome other people's views on it.