The Kaiser Permanente implant registries: effect on patient safety, quality improvement, cost effectiveness, and research opportunities

Elizabeth W Paxton, Maria Cs Inacio, Mary-Lou Kiley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Considering the high cost, volume, and patient safety issues associated with medical devices, monitoring of medical device performance is critical to ensure patient safety and quality of care. The purpose of this article is to describe the Kaiser Permanente (KP) implant registries and to highlight the benefits of these implant registries on patient safety, quality, cost effectiveness, and research.

METHODS: Eight KP implant registries leverage the integrated health care system's administrative databases and electronic health records system. Registry data collected undergo quality control and validation as well as statistical analysis.

RESULTS: Patient safety has been enhanced through identification of affected patients during major recalls, identification of risk factors associated with outcomes of interest, development of risk calculators, and surveillance programs for infections and adverse events. Effective quality improvement activities included medical center- and surgeon-specific profiles for use in benchmarking reports, and changes in practice related to registry information output. Among the cost-effectiveness strategies employed were collaborations with sourcing and contracting groups, and assistance in adherence to formulary device guidelines. Research studies using registry data included postoperative complications, resource utilization, infection risk factors, thromboembolic prophylaxis, effects of surgical delay on concurrent injuries, and sports injury patterns.

CONCLUSIONS: The unique KP implant registries provide important information and affect several areas of our organization, including patient safety, quality improvement, cost-effectiveness, and research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-44
Number of pages9
JournalThe Permanente journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • California
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Databases, Factual
  • Humans
  • Patient Safety
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Quality Improvement
  • Registries
  • Research
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Journal Article

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