A broken bone, also known as an osteoporotic or fragility fracture, is a serious complication of osteoporosis and often the first sign that a person has the disease. Unfortunately, only about 20% of the nearly two million individuals who experience fragility fractures each year are tested or treated for osteoporosis.
Those fractures are costly; nearly $18 billion in related costs every year. By 2025, experts predict those numbers to rise to nearly three million fractures and $25.3 billion in costs each year. Failing to prevent future fractures can be deadly; nearly 25% of patients who suffer a hip fracture die within a year. The majority who do survive experience a loss of independence and often require long-term nursing home care.
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital has taken steps to ensure its osteoporotic fracture patients receive the treatment and care they deserve through participation in The American Orthopaedic Association’s Own the Bone® quality improvement (QI) program. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital joins over 200 health care institutions nationwide that have joined Own the Bone and taken initiative to ensure their osteoporotic fracture patients receive the treatment and care they deserve. Through the Own the Bone program and its national web-based quality improvement registry, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital has been provided with the tools to establish a fracture liaison service (FLS) and to document, track and benchmark care of fragility fracture patients. Through an FLS program, a care coordinator, such as a nurse or physician’s assistant, ensures that fragility fracture patients are identified, evaluated and treated.
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital is proud to announce that its orthopedic program has received an Own the Bone Star Performer designation, an achievement reserved only for institutions that perform the highest level of fragility fracture and bone health care. Own the Bone Star Performers like Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, must achieve a 75% compliance rate with at least 5 of the 10 Own the Bone prevention measures, including: educating patients on the importance of Calcium and Vitamin D, physical activity, falls prevention, limiting alcohol intake and quitting smoking; recommending and initiating bone mineral density testing; discussing pharmacotherapy and treatment (when applicable); and providing written communication to the patient and their physician regarding specific risk factors and treatment recommendations.
Through participation in Own the Bone and recognition as an Own the Bone Star Performer, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital has demonstrated a commitment to helping patients understand their risk for future fractures and the steps they can take to prevent them.
What can people do to protect their bones?
- Get adequate calcium and vitamin D, either through diet or supplements, if necessary.
- Engage in regular weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercise.
- Avoid smoking and limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day.
- Have you or a loved one had a broken bone over age 50? Talk to your health care provider and get a bone density screening to determine if osteoporosis might be the cause and learn additional steps you might need to take to prevent future fractures.
For more information about Nanticoke Memorial Hospital’s orthopedic program and treatment options, visit www.nanticoke.org/orthopedics or contact the Orthopedic Program Director at 302-629-6611, extension 5105.