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.
The orthopaedic division required a database software that was easy to use, flexible enough to implement quickly, and most importantly, enforced data integrity. They met with the DADOS team to discuss a system overhaul. The DADOS team performed a needs assessment and kept in close contact with the division to make sure the final product met the requirements with no unnecessary accessories. Towards the end of the process, the team worked to develop an effective deployment plan that was tailored to the needs of the division.
The Division of Orthopaedic Surgery uses DADOS to track thousands of patient-reported outcomes with ease. The team designed DADOS to work on many tablets, in order to be very user-friendly for both patients and clinicians. This allowed patients to easily fill out questionnaires using a mobile device, and allowed clinicians and researchers to retrieve the information and build custom reports. DADOS boasts a large database and effective search methods to which the division utilizes to effectively keep track of a great number of studies. The ability to generate an audit trail allows all changes to be recorded and tracked to adhere to the strict compliance concerns around personal health information. The division can also connect with the hospital systems through DADOS to track patient visits, as continuous check-ups are essential to the research. Above all else, the Orthopaedic division is most satisfied that DADOS is admin-managed and provides a high level of data integrity, necessary for storing and tracking data as important and confidential as personal medical history.