The unique Kids’ Fracture Tool started out as an Excel sheet used at one hospital. After a few years of development, the tool now improves the quality of children’s fracture care in Finland and collects valuable research data.
The development of the tool started in 2014 at the former Helsinki Children’s Hospital. The hospital collected data of fractures, their treatment methods and recovery on Excel sheets.
– Fractures are being treated by many physicians on many levels of healthcare. We wanted to get an overall understanding of what we did and how we could improve the quality of care, says orthopaedic surgeon Topi Laaksonen, who initiated the collection of data.
Over the years, the Excel sheet evolved into a register and finally into a tool. Besides Laaksonen, it was developed by the whole team of orthopaedic and hand surgeons of the New Children’s Hospital in Helsinki. Orthopaedic Yrjänä Nietosvaara was an important contributor. BCB Medical joined in as an expert in clinical, disease-specific registries.
Electronic fracture treatment tool
In 2018, the register became what it is today: an electronic fracture treatment tool. It is based on BCB Medical’s disease-specific registries that are intended as a means of monitoring the effectiveness and quality of treatment, improving treatment chains and analyzing clinical data.
The utilization rate of the tool is high because it offers concrete benefits to users. It guides the treating physician to perform an appropriate clinical examination and to register all the relevant findings, including a correct diagnosis. Example radiographs with treatment guidelines such as treatment method, imaging studies and follow-up are included.
Consultation of experts
The tool is also an electronic consultation channel. The tending physician can add a treatment plan there and refer it to the New Children’s Hospital in Helsinki. A response to the consultation will be provided within 24 hours by an attending paediatric orthopaedic surgeon.
– It is important to make the correct diagnosis and the right decisions quickly: the first weeks of treatment are vital for the success of the recovery. Thanks to the consultation service, the physicians who may not often encounter children with fractures, can easily get an opinion from an expert who treats those fractures every day. The patient is spared from travelling to meet a specialist and receives the right treatment in their nearest hospital, Laaksonen explains.
Unified practices on all levels
Kids’ Fracture Tool is in use at the New Children’s Hospital in Helsinki and expanding to the Hyvinkää, Jorvi and Porvoo hospitals of HUS (Helsinki University Hospital). It is also launched at the Turku University Hospital. The aim is to get all the HUS hospitals and other Finnish university hospitals, as well as central and regional hospitals and healthcare centers to adopt the tool. The more hospitals and clinics that are actively using the Kids’ Fracture Tool, the greater the benefit for gathering data and unifying treatment practices.