Orthopaedists claim to "own the bone," and with good reason.
Advances such as joint replacement surgery and improved fracture fixation have
reduced disability and enhanced quality of life for millions of Americans.Unfortunately, health care policy makers do not see our successes the way
we do. While we see the glass as half full, they see it as half empty.
American health care, they believe, faces a quality crisis. Despite
extraordinary innovation in medical science, most patients are not receiving
the care they should be getting. Recent research by the RAND Corporation has
led to the conclusion that a typical American's likelihood of receiving the
right care at the right time is little better than
orthopaedic results cited in the RAND
report1 are even
more discouraging: only 23% of patients with a hip fracture, for example,
received the care recommended on the basis of good practice standards.