Raising national visibility of joint replacement and patient care

Client

Function and Outcomes Research for Comparative Effectiveness in Total Joint Replacement and Quality Improvement (FORCE-TJR)

Challenge

Led by a team of researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in cooperation with a national network of surgeons, FORCE-TJR is a federally funded effort to develop a new, comprehensive national database on total joint replacement implants and patient outcomes. Using the database for comparative effectiveness research and as a quality monitoring system, FORCE-TJR seeks to identify and directly influence clinical best practices, inform health care policy and improve the overall health and quality of life for more than 60 million people in the U.S. living with arthritis.

Approach

Denterlein developed a national communications campaign to help FORCE-TJR promote the database, demonstrate its value, and showcase both the research and orthopedic expertise of UMass Medical School.  Denterlein has been responsible for:

  • Developing communications strategy
  • Message development and creation of all collateral material
  • Op-ed development and placement
  • Media relations
  • Opinion leader outreach
  • Thought leadership positioning

Results

In the first 60 days of the campaign (which is ongoing) Denterlein strategically used data from the FORCE-TJR database to develop a news story about patient care and joint replacement.  The story was published by the New York Times, generating national interest in this new database and providing opportunities to talk about the larger goals and potential of the database to a variety of lay media as well as trade press.  We followed up with an op-ed placed in Modern Healthcare, which has further increased visibility among the health professionals who are critical to the long-term success of the FORCE-TJR effort.

At the same time, Denterlein secured in-person meetings with executives at several health plans, quality advocacy organizations and comparative effectiveness research supporters.  This outreach to influential opinion leaders is important to spreading the word about the database’s functionality and potential to significantly improve patient outcomes and lower overall TJR costs.

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