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The Impact of Disruptive Innovations in Orthopaedics

  • Author(s): Hansen, Erik
  • Bozic, Kevin J.
  • et al.
Abstract

The US healthcare system is currently facing daunting demographic and economic challenges. Because musculoskeletal disorders and disease represent a substantial and growing portion of this healthcare burden, novel approaches will be needed to continue to provide high-quality, affordable, and accessible orthopaedic care to our population. The concept of “disruptive innovations,” which has been studied and popularized by Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen, may offer a potential framework for developing strategies to improve quality and control costs associated with musculoskeletal care. The introduction of mobile fluoroscopic imaging systems, the development of the Surgical Implant Generation Network intramedullary nail for treatment of long bone fractures in the developing world, the expanding role and contributions of physician assistants and nurse practitioners to the orthopaedic team, and the rise of ambulatory surgery centers are all examples of disruptive innovations in the field of orthopaedics. Although numerous cultural and regulatory barriers have limited the widespread adoption of these “disruptive innovations,” we believe they represent an opportunity for clinicians to regain leadership in health care while at the same time improving quality and access to care for patients with musculoskeletal disease.

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