NorthBay Healthcare Program Joins National Joint Registry

The independent, not-for-profit database is designed to store comprehensive data about joint replacement procedures to help physicians and artificial joint manufacturers improve the experiences of patients who undergo joint replacement surgery.

“It’s a real feather in our cap,” said Cynthia Giaquinto, R.N., manager of the Joint Replacement Program, which is based at VacaValley Hospital. “Our closest reporting neighbor is UC San Francisco, which puts our JRP benchmarking in good company.”  


Only about 50 hospitals across the country are part of the registry, which was formed in 2009, explained Giaquinto, noting that Europe has had one for several years. “This benefits our patients because implants are monitored for the life of the implant. If there are any issues, we will know immediately who has that kind of implant and what impacts there might be.

“The goal is to improve patient safety and quality of care, and reduce the cost of hip and knee replacements,” explains Andrew Brooks, M.D., medical director for the NorthBay Joint Replacement Program. “We’ll be able to glean a lot of useful information from the registry. It’s a big deal for programs big and small to be involved.”


More than a million hip and knee replacements are performed each year in the United States, and most are successful, offering patients years of trouble-free use . But a few patients – about 7.5 percent, according to 2006 figures – experience problems following surgery that require the artificial joint to be replaced.


“NorthBay’s Joint Replacement Program has always been committed to ensuring its patients have the best experiences possible, and now, we’ve taken an added step toward improving patient experiences by joining AJRR,” said Giaquinto.


“By participating with other hospitals in sharing information about artificial joint performance and physician and patient experiences, we can help joint replacement procedures become safer nationwide, while optimizing our own patients’ experiences here at NorthBay.”


About 130 hip and knee replacement surgeries are performed in NorthBay’s JRP each year, and the number continues to grow.


NorthBay officially started documenting patients into the registry on Sept. 1.


“It’s a real commitment of time and effort, and I’m proud that NorthBay realizes the importance of the project,” said Dr. Brooks.


By offering a single source of data, doctors and other healthcare professionals who use the registry can easily access data from medical centers around the country and use that information to help them make more informed recommendations to their patients, ultimately improving patient care.


Registry information about patient outcomes and experiences will also help artificial joint manufacturers improve their products and identify potentially faulty products, and can help reduce healthcare costs associated with replacement procedures and follow-up care.


All data collected by the AJRR remains confidential to protect patient privacy.


“Registries for joint replacement procedures and other medical procedures and conditions have proven to be effective tools in improving patient outcomes and reducing complications that can occur both during and following surgical procedures,” said David G. Lewallen, M.D., chairman of the AJRR Board of Directors. “In fact, in countries where registries have been created and used, revision rates have decreased significantly, resulting in substantial cost savings and a better overall patient experience.”


For more information about the registry and its objectives, visit