Posted on May 09, 2017
Every May, clinicians and health professionals come together in a national awareness campaign for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease. Through National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, people are encouraged to understand the risk factors associated with this condition and make the lifestyle changes needed to build strong bones for life.
Although an estimated 10 million adults in the U.S. have osteoporosis and an additional 43 million have low bone mass, most will go undiagnosed and untreated.
A broken bone, also known as an osteoporotic or fragility fracture, is a serious complication of osteoporosis and often the first sign that a person has the disease. Unfortunately, only about 20% of the nearly two million individuals who experience fragility fractures each year are tested or treated for osteoporosis.
Those fractures are costly; nearly $18 billion in related costs every year. By 2025, experts predict those numbers to rise to nearly three million fractures and $25.3 billion in costs each year. Failing to prevent future fractures can be deadly; nearly 25% of patients who suffer a hip fracture die within a year. The majority who do survive experience a loss of independence and often require long-term nursing home care.
It’s time to address this silent public health epidemic in health care.
Peninsula Regional Medical Centerhas taken steps to ensure its osteoporotic fracture patients receive the treatment and care they deserve through participation in the American Orthopaedic Association’s Own the Bone® quality improvement (QI) program. Peninsula Regional joins more than 200 health care institutions nationwide that have joined Own the Bone and taken initiative to ensure their osteoporotic fracture patients receive the treatment and care they deserve.
Through the Own the Bone program and its national web-based quality improvement registry, Peninsula Regional has been provided with the tools to establish a fracture liaison service (FLS) and to document, track and benchmark care of fragility fracture patients. Through an FLS program, a care coordinator, such as a nurse or physician’s assistant, ensures that fragility fracture patients are identified, evaluated and treated.
Peninsula Regionalis also proud to announce it has received an Own the Bone Star Performer designation this year, an achievement reserved only for institutions that perform the highest level of fragility fracture and bone health care.
Own the Bone Star Performers like Peninsula Regional must achieve a 75% compliance rate with at least 5 of the 10 Own the Bone prevention measures, including: educating patients on the importance of calcium and vitamin D, physical activity, falls prevention, limiting alcohol intake and quitting smoking; recommending and initiating bone mineral density testing; discussing pharmacotherapy and treatment (when applicable); and providing written communication to the patient and their physician regarding specific risk factors and treatment recommendations.
Through our participation in Own the Bone and recognition as an Own the Bone Star Performer, Peninsula Regional has demonstrated a commitment to helping patients understand their risk for future fractures and the steps they can take to prevent them.
What can people do to protect their bones?
- Get adequate calcium and vitamin D, either through diet or supplements, if necessary.
- Engage in regular weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercise.
- Emphasize fall prevention and external risk factors (stairs, railings, clutter, etc.)
- Avoid smoking and limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day.
- Have you or a loved one had a broken bone over age 50? Talk to your health care provider and get a bone density screening to determine if osteoporosis might be the cause and learn additional steps you might need to take to prevent future fractures.