Orthopaedics is the medical study of the treatment of the skeletal system; researching surgical procedures to prevent and correct disorder or injuries of the bones, joints, and associated muscles and ligaments. Like many other chronic medical conditions, skeletal disorders do not develop overnight, nor do they heal in a week. Studies begin before the surgery and continue for many years following it. In many cases, studies in this field last for over fifteen years, constantly updating with new medical information. This could mean fifteen years’ worth of patient-reported outcomes to maintain, and changes to track. This was precisely the problem that the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery of UHN faced.
The Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at UHN is one of the largest in Canada and rapidly growing, providing the most complex surgical treatments in the country. With over 1000 patients per year receiving joint replacements alone, it quickly became apparent that the old method of paper forms was no longer effective. The amount of paperwork only grew, some over 15 years old, and it was difficult to find specific reports and to track subject progress.