February 2017

This quarter, we would like to recognize Ms. Christine Brown, MSPT, from Dignity Health in Sacramento, CA.

christine brown2Ms. Christine Brown, MSPT, is the Regional Service Area Director, Rehabilitation Services and Orthopedic Programs at Dignity Health. She oversees six hospitals in the Sacramento area, four of which are currently participating in the AJRR. In addition to joint replacement programs, Ms. Brown oversees speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and neuropsychology programs. She follows joint replacement patients throughout their entire episode of care, from when the patient is considering surgery to long after the surgery is completed. Her favorite part of her job is the people that she works with. Each of her colleagues possess a variety of skills and work in many different departments, but they all have the same mentality to give great patient care. They don't see themselves as an individual stepping stone, but as a part of the bigger picture. Ms. Brown is a member representative of the newly formed AJRR California State Registry Committee.

Q: How long have you been working at Dignity Health?

A: I started at one hospital 18 years ago as a physical therapist, since that's what I'm trained in. I was a supervisor of the outpatient clinic. Over time, I worked my way up to become the director of rehabilitation at that hospital and started working with the orthopaedics program. A few years ago, I assumed a regional position in Sacramento, which is where I am now.

Q: How long have you been working with AJRR, and what is your role in the data submission process?

A: My introduction to the AJRR was through the merging of the California Joint Replacement Registry (CJRR) in 2015. I began working with CJRR a few years before that. The transition has been very smooth thanks to AJRR staff being so responsive and enthusiastic.

My initial data submission role was to onboard hospitals to CJRR and develop an electronic method of submitting their data. Since my institutions perform almost 2,000 joint replacements a year, paper submission was not an option. It took a while to find an interface to manage the process, but we were able to get it up and running. I currently meet regularly with other Dignity staff to see if the process is running smoothly. I hope to get every Dignity Health hospital to participate in not only AJRR, but more registries of many specialties.

Q: What made you want to be a member representative of the California State Registry Committee?

A: When I was approached by the committee to be a member representative, I was honored. Many of the other representatives are surgeons, so I'm able to give a different perspective on situations and decisions. I've been involved with bringing facilities onboard and know the different challenges that Registry participants face, so I think that it's great that I was given the option to offer my point of view to the committee and make a positive impact.

Q: What do you think is the most valuable aspect of Registry participation?

A: I think that the most valuable aspect is the ability to receive valid evidence of how your joint replacement program is functioning. You're able to see how your surgeons perform compared to national benchmarks, and you can find the different measures that they excel at or need work on. The Registry informs you on what areas to discuss with surgeons without just saying that you have anecdotal evidence.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?

A: I like to compete in triathlons in my free time, and I've participated in a couple half-Ironman triathlons in the past. I competitively play tennis, and enjoy gardening as well. I own a greenhouse with over 300 orchids growing inside. It's an interesting way for my 11-year-old daughter to study biology and explore.

Q: If you could pass on one piece of information to a new AJRR participant, what would it be?

A: I would say that while submitting data is important, it's also incredibly important to utilize the data as it comes back to you in the dashboards. Take the time to learn what it's saying about your program, and show what you've found to your surgeons and patients. People get so caught up in the submission process that they don't think to use the data, and they're really not getting the full benefits of their Registry participation.