Ms. Cindi Hoffner is the Total Joint Registry Registrar at Mercy Medical Center - Cedar Rapids. She ensures complete and accurate data abstraction, collection, entry, and reporting for the total joint replacement patient population, and contributes to organizational performance improvement, medical staff performance improvement, patient safety, and risk management. Ms. Hoffner began working at Mercy 13 years ago as a Data Entry Specialist for their existing total joint registry program. Because of that experience, she was able to learn from the ground up how to build the workings of a strong base for her institution's system, and therefore apply it to her work with AJRR. Ms. Hoffner has participated in numerous clinical research studies and papers with Mercy's orthopaedic surgeons.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your job?
A: Currently, I love the challenges of getting our own personalized version of the AJRR built at Mercy. We have our dedicated internal AJRR team to work on the logistics related to interfacing with our EPIC documentation system and with the Operating Room staff's documentation of critical data such as the surgical approaches and manufacturer specifications. Implementing AJRR data submission is not a one-person job. I couldn't have done this without the help of my Quality Analyst, Theresa Mahoney and my Program Coordinator, Linda Weiler. We have also had great assistance from the Clinic Manager to train all the staff and providers about the Level III patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) data collection process within the clinic. We are all anticipating our next step of development as we move on to Level II patient risk factors, comorbidities, and complications data.
Q: Do you enjoy working with AJRR staff? If yes, why?
A: Yes, I do enjoy working with the staff at AJRR, especially Steve Hamada. He has been a great addition to the team and has helped solve several of our problems. I have a lot of respect for the whole AJRR staff! They were very helpful in our early stages of implementing the AJRR.
I am a pretty intense person and I have extreme attention to detail. I am so passionate about making sure that we have good clean data in the AJRR. We do not want to create a "garbage in and garbage out" type of system. My goal is to work with the AJRR staff, on both the large and small details to ensure our data is very valuable.
Q: How long have you been working with AJRR, and what is your role in the data submission process?
A: We started working with the AJRR in April 2016, and signed our initial contract on August 8, 2016. We began the process of submitting Level I data in November 2016. My role in the data submission process is to basically evaluate so that we "dot all of the i's and cross all of the t's." Whether that means working with our internal hospital team, or with the AJRR staff, it's imperative that we have impeccable data submitted to this national Registry. I figure if everyone around the country does this, the AJRR will grow to be the best of the best over time.
Beyond that, I have taken on the responsibility of working with our providers and staff in the hospital and clinic to get the AJRR program implemented. Our surgeons do over 1,000 total joint replacements annually. We have collected Registry data for this population for over 20 years now and I am proud to be a part of our continued commitment to tracking total joint replacement outcomes.
Q: What do you think is the most valuable aspect of Registry participation?
A: Being part of a national database is a very appealing aspect of the AJRR. I think it is great that the system has been built into the unique levels of data collection of I through III. It has been easy to articulate the various aspects of the Registry to our key stakeholders as we have rolled it out. Ultimately, it is our hope that the reported data will become valuable to all the participants as the database grows over time.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies or is there something about yourself that might surprise us?
A: I love volunteering. For example, I created about 72 hand-tied blankets for the kids participating in the Tanager Place program that serves kids of various ages needing assistance. It ended up being about double what I had anticipated, but it was such a rewarding experience. I am also an avid scrapbooker. I have scrapbooks dating back over the events of the past 25 years from births to graduations and many special activities in between. It's a great way to showcase the great times in our lives.
Q: If you could pass on one piece of information to a new AJRR participant, what would it be?
A: It takes a few months to get up and running with the Registry. Due diligence, and having a strong team working together are critical pieces of the AJRR puzzle.