First in the Nation: One Unit's Journey to Achieving Fragility Fracture Certification

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Osteoporosis is related to more than 2 million fractures and $19 billion in healthcare costs each year (S. Rawlins, 2014). A fragility fracture (FF) is a low-energy fracture of the distal radius, proximal humerus, ankle, or proximal femur (hip) from minimal trauma such as a fall from a standing height. In addition to cost, FFs often result in the loss of independence and productivity (S. Rawlins, 2014). In 2015, our orthopaedic unit received the first certification ever awarded for FFs. Fragility fracture certification is a new certification demonstrating that a healthcare facility complies with national patient care standards and uses evidence-based practice guidelines to deliver quality outcomes. Orthopaedic nurses have a critical role in optimizing future bone health and fracture prevention. Our story describes the process and challenges faced becoming the first organization in the nation to be successfully surveyed for The Joint Commission's Fragility Fracture Certification.

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