The use of nationwide databases to conduct orthopaedic research has expanded markedly in recent years. Nationwide databases offer large sample sizes, sampling of patients who are representative of the country as a whole, and data that enable investigation of trends over time. The most common use of nationwide databases is to study the occurrence of postoperative adverse events. Other uses include the analysis of costs and the investigation of critical hospital metrics, such as length of stay and readmission rates. Although nationwide databases are powerful research tools, readers should be aware of the differences between them and their limitations. These include variations and potential inaccuracies in data collection, imperfections in patient sampling, insufficient postoperative follow-up, and lack of orthopaedic-specific outcomes.
From the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL (Dr. Bohl and Dr. Singh), and the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT (Dr. Grauer).
Dr. Singh or an immediate family member has received royalties from Pioneer, Zimmer Biomet, and Stryker; serves as a paid consultant to DePuy, Stryker, and Zimmer Biomet; has stock or stock options held in Avaz Surgical and Vital 5; and serves as a board member, owner, officer, or committee member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Cervical Spine Research Society, the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery, the Scoliosis Research Society, and the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. Dr. Grauer or an immediate family member serves as a paid consultant to Bioventus, ISTO Technologies, Medtronic, Stryker, and Vertex and serves as a board member, owner, officer, or committee member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Cervical Spine Research Society. Neither Dr. Bohl nor any immediate family member has received anything of value from or has stock or stock options held in a commercial company or institution related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.