Science & Research

Dr. Eric Bohm

Winnipeg Health Region
Wave, November / December 2012

Winnipeg orthopedic surgeon Dr. Eric Bohm says the auto industry has the right idea.

But he's not talking about fuel efficiency or safety. What really impresses Bohm is how car manufacturers listen to their customers.

"When you buy a new car, you get those questionnaires from the dealership and manufacturer about whether you're happy with the purchase," says the Director of Research for the Concordia Joint Replacement Group at Concordia Hospital's Hip and Knee Institute. "The car manufacturer gets lots of good information on the quality of its product and makes changes when something isn't working."

Bohm liked the idea so much, he helped make it standard practice to track the results of patients receiving hip and knee replacements at the institute, which is Manitoba's central hub for most joint replacement procedures. "It's a bit embarrassing to say, but it's sort of novel to ask health-care patients in the system whether they're satisfied with their experience."

In some cases, that might not make as much sense. "Who wouldn't be gracious for successful life-saving surgery?" he asks rhetorically. "But hip and knee replacement surgeries are elective operations that are done to improve quality of life, so you really want to maximize the positive effects of the operation and minimize the possibility of complications."

Bohm says he was drawn to the Hip and Knee Institute 10 years ago by the chance to work with patients and conduct research at the same time. This offered the unique opportunity to improve surgical techniques and the effectiveness of implants, reduce waittimes and make the experience of patients the best it can be. Since he arrived, the institute has set up a wear-and-tear lab to test new implants, and, in 2005, a Region-wide registry was created to track patients who've received the procedures. All these initiatives have one overarching goal: helping knee and hip replacement recipients have fewer complications from surgery and get back to enjoying their lives sooner.

Wave: November / December 2012

About Wave

Wave is published six times a year by the Winnipeg Health Region in cooperation with the Winnipeg Free Press. It is available at newsstands, hospitals and clinics throughout Winnipeg, as well as McNally Robinson Books.

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