Richmond doc wants to create a database for surgeries

Dr. William Jiranek has for years tried unsuccessfully to set up a state-wide database that tracks patients who receive joint replacements.

Jiranek, who works in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the VCU Medical Center, said that so far only six of an estimated 200 doctors doing joint replacement in Virginia are participating.

“Most of them are supportive. Few of them are willing to do a lot of work,” Jiranek told the New York Times.

In countries like Australia, Britain, Norway and Sweden, artificial joints are tracked by a national database called a joint registry. These registries track how patients adapt to artificial joints like replacement hips and knees.

In the United States, there is no such database. And this could be a problem.

According to the New York Times article, “The risk in the United States that a patient will need a replacement procedure because of a flawed product or technique can be double the risk of countries with databases.”

The article also said the billions of dollars are wasted annually on medical treatments that may not work. In addition, nearly one million hip and knees were used last year in the United States. That accounts for nearly half of the world’s total.

Creating a registry, it is hoped, would help eliminate harmful products and improve faulty procedures.

BizSense was unable to reach Dr. Jiranek, but in the coming days we will try to track down Dr. Jiranek to learn more about his vision, and see if there is a possible business opportunity lurking.

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