HOUSTON (November 26, 2012)

In its continuing mission to provide the best patient care possible, Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital has become a member of the American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR), an independent, not-for-profit database designed to store comprehensive data about joint replacement procedures to help physicians and artificial joint manufacturers improve the experiences of patients who undergo joint replacement surgery. Memorial Hermann Southwest is the only hospital in Houston submitting information to the AJRR.

"This affiliation will help us continue to provide patients with the best care possible," said Derek Jones, MD, Medical Director of the Total Joint Replacement Program at Memorial Hermann Southwest. "By sharing information with the Registry about patient joint implants, we can more easily detect poorly performing implants and readily identify patients who may need follow-up evaluation. Working with the Registry can help joint replacement procedures become safer nationwide."

More than 1 million hip and knee replacements are performed each year in the U.S., and that number is expected to increase as more men and women remain active as they get older. While the lion's share of replacement surgeries are successful, offering patients years of trouble-free use and helping patients resume their regular activities of daily living, a few patients - about 7.5 percent - experience problems following surgery that require the artificial joint to be replaced.

The AJRR serves as a central clearinghouse for information about joint replacements performed at Memorial Hermann Southwest and other member hospitals and medical centers throughout the country that participate in the registry. The AJRR carefully monitors the artificial joint throughout a recipient's lifetime in a database containing information about the patient, the surgeon who performed the procedure and the hospital or medical center where the procedure took place. The data collected then helps doctors more quickly identify joints that are performing poorly, and will help them match patients, procedures and devices to ensure that every patient has the best experience possible.

By offering a single source of data, doctors and other healthcare professionals who use the registry can easily access data from medical centers around the country and use that information to help them make more informed recommendations to their patients, ultimately improving patient care. Registry information about patient outcomes and experiences also helps artificial joint manufacturers improve their products and identify potentially faulty products, and can help reduce healthcare costs associated with replacement procedures and follow-up care. All data collected by the AJRR remains confidential to protect patient privacy.

"Registries for joint replacement procedures and other medical procedures and conditions have proven to be effective tools in improving patient outcomes and reducing complications that can occur both during and following surgical procedures," said David G. Lewallen, MD, chairman of the AJRR Board of Directors. "In fact, in countries where registries have been created and used, revision rates have decreased significantly, resulting in substantial cost savings and a better overall patient experience."

To learn more about the Total Joint Replacement Program at Memorial Hermann Southwest, call 713-456-6948 or visit www.memorialhermann.org.