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No Bones About It: A NAON Podcast Series

Oct 7, 2022

Our guest, Dr. Mo Halawi, is an Orthopaedic Surgeon at Baylor College of Medicine, an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Chief Quality Officer for Musculoskeletal Services at Baylor’s St. Luke’s Medical Center.

Current surgical databases control for differences in demographic, comorbidity and perioperative factors, but lack data on social determinants of health. Surgical databases play an important role in the patient outcomes following a surgery but many factors nationwide are not captured. Dr. Halawi and colleagues led a series of six studies presenting a comprehensive overview of racial and ethnic health disparities for those receiving joint replacement surgeries. The Baylor team’s findings showed lower outcomes continue to occur among minorities.  Recent data points to the need for greater understanding of the social factors that may impact patient outcomes. Those factors include language, education level, income, transportation or care access, living environment and caregiver support, as well as an assessment of the outcomes from surgery from the patient’s perspective and require interventions to be addressed differently.

While disparities occur, there’s hope for the future as Baylor found the two minority groups experiencing the most disparities, Blacks and Hispanics, when analyzed over time and with interventions showed positive trends in terms of procedure utilization, health profiles and outcomes.