Sharing values and data: AO and Orthopaedic Trauma Association collaborate through AO Global Data

The AO and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) are pleased to announce a new collaboration to improve patient outcomes through the AO's comprehensive patient-centered data hub: AO Global Data.

The AO and OTA's missions are centered on enhancing the treatment of patients with musculoskeletal disorders, and AO Global Data holds the potential to catalyze the missions of both organizations. The OTA is assisting in identifying five hospitals in North America interested in participating in the AO Global Data program. Each of these hospitals will receive licenses to AO Global Data, a tool designed to transform data into patient-centered care. This collaboration is the beginning of a two-year pilot project.

AO Global Data: Transforming orthopedic surgery through data

AO Global Data is a project spearheaded by the AO Innovation Translation Center (AO ITC) to transform data into a potent, authenticated resource for patients, doctors, researchers, communities, and policymakers to make informed decisions. This simple, secure, and streamlined data-collection tool develops and delivers evidence-based medicine and data-supported treatment options.

"Data-based decision-making will transform the field of orthopedic surgery—it breaks new ground by yielding fresh, previously uncharted approaches for delivering individualized patient care," said Claas Albers, executive director of innovation translation at the AO. "AO Global Data is an independent platform that offers surgeons, healthcare organizations, researchers, and hospitals access to this new world of possibilities."

With AO Global Data, users can benchmark patient outcomes by region and country, identify result predictors, and receive assistance in medical decision-making, all while driving clinical research through the tool's large-scale patient-reported outcomes collection. Additionally, AO Global Data is integrated with AO Surgery Reference—the go-to resource for managing musculoskeletal disorders based on current clinical principles, practices, and evidence. "Combining AO Surgery Reference with patients' clinical and outcome data offers unique value for the daily clinical routine of trauma and orthopedic surgeons," said AO ITC Head of Clinical Science Alexander Joeris, who is also the project leader of AO Global Data.

Data-based decision-making will transform the field of orthopedic surgery.”

Executive Director of Innovation Translation at the AO, Claas Albers

The AO and OTA:
Leveraging collaboration

"This collaboration will allow centers to engage patients to gather Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) as well as clinical outcomes to allow internal quality improvement (QI) or benchmarking for analysis,” said Dr William Obremskey, one of the key facilitators from the OTA for the partnership with AO Global Data. "We approached members of the OTA's Registry Task Force or members that have a history of database use to act as beta sites. The collaboration can serve to improve patient care with QI, benchmarking, and potentially comparative or prospective research."

The OTA and the AO's beginnings were both organically sparked by surgeons who desired to pool their knowledge. The seed for the OTA was planted in 1977 when three surgeons in San Francisco began discussing the challenges of the academic traumatologist. Over the past 35 years, the OTA has continually evolved and expanded to achieve its mission and meet the needs of its membership. This includes the OTA’s premier Annual Meeting with scientific research podium and poster abstracts, and symposia presented by top orthopedic trauma surgeons from around the world, as well as a growing portfolio of OTA resources, such as comprehensive online education, research grant funding and mentor programs, leadership development, physician advocacy, and patient education resources.

The AO was formed in 1958 when a group of 13 surgeons in Switzerland came together to champion groundbreaking internal fixation techniques that achieved unprecedented results in healing bone fractures. The AO’s principles of fracture management revolutionized the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders worldwide, with education, research, and innovation at the heart of the group's work. In total, the AO has taught close to one million participants in its surgical-education courses and is the largest global network of surgeons and operating room personnel, with an association of 460,000 health-care professionals in over 160 countries.

Advancing patient care
around the world

"Through the AO and OTA's past collaboration to classify fractures, we standardized the treatment of fractures all over the world," said Albers. "Seeing the significant impact of our joint work, I am excited to see what this new chapter in our collaboration yields and how it will translate to advancements in patient care."

Both organizations are proof of the transformative power of sharing knowledge to advance the practice of surgery. The impact of this knowledge transfer has benefited patients around the world—an effect that both the AO and the OTA hope will be further amplified through the pilot of AO Global Data in the OTA's network.

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