September 1, 2020

Addressing Disparities in the Total Joint Population

The existence of health disparities in regards to race/ethnicity, geographical location, comorbidities, and socioeconomic status is prevalent across the nation. Health disparities can stem from many different factors and it is important for healthcare practitioners to understand the impact of these disparities, and strategies to minimize adverse effects on patient outcomes.

Research has shown that patients with more comorbidities are more likely to have a difficult time in recovery, and due to various co-founders such as socioeconomic status and access to care, minorities are more likely to suffer from certain diseases, depression, and injuries. Providers are not able to give equal care if they cannot accommodate a patient’s specific needs. Significant work must be done to address these health disparities. Force recently conducted research to evaluate the impact of clinical and socio-demographic variables on postoperative outcomes following Total Joint Arthroplasty (TJA).

Results of the study suggest that there are discrepancies when comparing a patient’s race, history of comorbidities, health literacy, and use of chronic narcotics or tobacco. These findings prove that patients who have a health disparity are more likely to score below average on outcome forms the majority of the time. These results are consistent with previous findings showing that the factors studied; race, comorbidity, and health literacy play a role in a patient’s recovery. Going forward, health systems, providers, and clinicians should all be made aware of these health disparities and provide the patient the appropriate care.

By individualizing care plans to fit specific patient needs, appropriate measures can be taken to guarantee all patients receive equal care and have optimal postoperative outcomes. At Force Therapeutics, we utilize Intelligent Care Plans (ICP) to ensure customized care plans at scale so providers feel comfortable knowing that the appropriate education is being tailored to the patient.

Read the full study here.