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ECRI Institute Names Kaiser Permanente Winner of 5th Annual Health Devices Achievement Award

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ECRI Institute® (, an independent nonprofit organization that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, is pleased to announce Kaiser Permanente (, a leading healthcare provider and not-for-profit health plan,  as the winner of the 5th annual Health Devices Achievement Award for excellence in health technology management. The Health Devices Achievement Award recognizes an outstanding initiative undertaken by an ECRI Institute member healthcare institution that improves patient safety, reduces costs, or otherwise facilitates better strategic management of health technology.  

Kaiser Permanente's winning submission describes its groundbreaking initiatives, the National Total Joint Replacement Registry (TJRR) and the Cardiac Device Registry (CDR).These are comprehensive databases covering almost 150,000 joint-replacement and cardiac implants from regions across the United States. The registries allow the analysis of implant statistics, including complications, failures, replacements, usage, and costs. Mining these data identifies the most effective devices and surgical techniques, as well as patients who are at risk for re-operations and surgical complications.

"Our award evaluation committee was extremely impressed with how many ways the registries can be used to improve quality of care throughout Kaiser Permanente and at a national and even international level," says James P. Keller, Jr., ECRI Institute's Vice President for Health Technology Evaluation and Safety.  "Kaiser Permanente's registries are extremely impactful.  ECRI Institute is pleased to recognize such important work with our award."

Kaiser Permanente's project, 10 years in development, represents an unprecedented partnership between the surgeons who use implants and the hospitals or health plans that pay for them. As a result of the registries, Kaiser Permanente is one of the few U.S. healthcare organizations to comprehensively track and evaluate implant performance.

The National Total Joint Replacement Registry is now the largest population-based total joint registry in the U.S. Overall, more than 1,000 physicians and 50 hospitals are included in both databases.  

Significant outcomes of the Kaiser Permanente registries include:

  • Immediate identification, monitoring, and notification of over 2,500 orthopedic and cardiac patients affected by 15 recalls in 2009 alone.
  • Identification of patients' risk factors for post-operative infections, hospital re-admissions, deep vein thrombosis, and other complications, resulting in significant changes in surgical indications and pre-operative care.

"We are honored to receive this recognition from the ECRI Institute," said Elizabeth Paxton, director of surgical outcomes and analysis at Kaiser Permanente. "Our registries allow healthcare professionals and researchers to enhance quality and patient safety through assessment of new technology determining which devices and techniques are best for our patients."

Kaiser Permanente's award-winning entry will be featured in ECRI Institute's Health Devices journal and on the ECRI Institute website. A formal award presentation will be made by ECRI Institute Vice President James Keller at Kaiser Permanente later this year.

Finalists for the 2010 Health Devices Achievement Award were University of California-San Francisco Medical Center; Boston Medical Center; University of Pennsylvania Health System's Good Shepherd Penn Partners; and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

To learn more about this year's Health Devices Achievement Award winner and finalists, visit

ECRI Institute will soon be accepting submissions for the 6th Annual Health Devices Award for 2011. For more information about submitting an application, or about becoming a member of ECRI Institute's Health Devices System  or Health Devices Gold  medical technology procurement and management programs, contact ECRI Institute at (610) 825-6000, ext. 5377, visit, e-mail  mail  ECRI Institute, 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462-1298, USA.

About ECRI Institute

ECRI Institute, a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes are best to enable improved patient care.  As pioneers in this science for 43 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. ECRI Institute is designated a Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization and an Evidence-based Practice by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO is listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. For more information, visit

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