From OT Europe

EFORT Annual Congress brought together the scientific community devoted to orthopaedic care

The theme was orthopaedic registries and their impact on practice. A broader theme of passionate patient care emerged from the congress.
EFORT

LISBON, Portugal — The European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology provided a platform for its 39 member societies to gather together in a spectacular venue in the heart of Lisbon, Portugal to present more than 180 scientific and informative sessions featuring more than 2,000 international presenters. The stated theme of the annual congress was “registries and impact on practice,” which was clearly represented in the publication made available to every congress attendee: EFORT Open Reviews (Volume 4).

EFORT Open Reviews 

EFORT is the platform organization linking Europe’s national orthopaedic associations. Its aims reflect the will of all the participating associations to promote the exchange of scientific knowledge and experience. This purpose was clear in the structure and interactivity of the sessions available to attendees with a demonstrable focus on research and education.

Beyond the stated focus on registries, having attended the multiday event onsite, another theme emerged amongst presenters and participants alike: an unwavering commitment to improving patient care. The heartfelt commitment to that goal was palpable not only in the topics selected for discussion during the sessions, but also in the bottom line of each session in which presenters uniformly summarized patient care as a key priority.

Practitioner attitudes, behavior

For example, in a discussion on the impact of smoking cessation on post-surgical outcomes of patients, a variety of presenters showed relatively unanimous independent results that cessation programs have a measurable effect on providing better patient outcomes following a surgical intervention. The data were clear, but highlighted as part of the discussion were the attitudes and behaviors that practitioners who seek to improve their patient should undertake.

Presenter Pell Gustafson, speaking from the perspective of risk management as viewed from the insurance industry, summarized the distinction between insurance and medical practice:

“What is the effect of good patient safety work? Nothing. It is not enough to just know that smoking provides the worst outcomes as the data show us, but we must do something. Ten to 15 years ago, all we talked about was equipment to improve patient care, and now we look to people through certification, competence, and procedures, as well as culture through attitudes, behavior and accountability. We not only manage risk through prevention, but we now proactively take patient care as a part of everything we do.”

The concern for patient care was not only evident in open policy dialogues like that of the symposium on smoking cessation, but was also clear in more practical sessions, such as extremely technical talks on topics such as total ankle arthroplasty vs. ankle arthrodesis. For every orthopaedic specialty, there was a detailed discussion from which practitioners could take away new facts and review case studies.

Smartphone app

EFORT innovatively facilitated these discussions with its “EFORT 2019” smartphone app available to all participants. In nearly every session attended, presenters interacted with the audience through the app, whether in general polling or in matters that involved audience discussions to find best practices in case studies. At times, the input was not what was expected by the presenter, taking the dialogue into new and unforeseen territories. The app brought every audience member into the discussion, at a minimum as part of the group feedback and also at times to raise questions and fuel discussion on key topics with direct impact on approaches to be taken in real-life practical circumstances.

In the expert review session on pain management in total knee arthroplasty, panelists presented real cases from their own practices. From a practical perspective, the cases and discussion were divided into two key subdivisions: perspectives on acute pain and discussions of chronic pain. The audience in the large lecture room was standing room only, with participants lining the walls who took a knee at times to jot down notes. Even with the topical division and the best efforts of presenters, such a discussion in an overpacked venue can easily become unwieldy. Yet, EFORT event staff running microphones through the aisles ensured the lively debate on best practices and discussions of individual approaches could be shared efficiently. That, and with the interactivity of the smartphone app helped facilitate the face-to-face discussion, which kept audience members engaged in an experience and exchange that would be difficult to simulate, for example, in an online forum or in another type of tele-meeting.

High-level interactions

For an organization that is so geographically diverse with a variety of members from different cultures, the level of interaction and comradery amongst participants was impressive throughout the meeting. This was true even in moments of disaccord where two divergent camps preferred differing practices and debated the merits of one practice vs. the other, polling the audience. The diversity and inclusion of a variety of presenters, and the background preparation that was obvious, kept these discussions scientifically informed and professionally beneficial to all.

Industry involvement in annual congresses is a staple of these types of gatherings, and this year’s impressive display of the latest devices and tools for practitioners on the display floor was no exception. The exhibition floor was kept separate from the scientific discussions in such a way that students, professors and practitioners in all fields could on the one hand benefit from the scientific and data-led discussions with their colleagues and then soon thereafter seeing their practical application in the form of the manufacturers’ tools available to best implement the techniques being discussed in the scientific sessions.

Poster presentations, discussions

Not to be overlooked was the poster hall where researchers could present and discuss their studies and results. Authors could interact directly with mingling congress attendees, which increased the interactivity between peers and potentially raise the level of discussion on new research and provided fresh perspectives.

EFORT in its own right provided a venue to bring together the top minds, best practitioners and most influential industry representatives to flesh out new and better ways to provide care for those patients in need of better mobility, faster recovery times and improved quality of life in conjunction with musculoskeletal health issues. This annual forum is supplemented by numerous print and online publications and increasingly involves follow-on e-learning and interactive discussions throughout the year. Members voiced their requests for standards and continuously improving ways to share best practices and to improve their knowledge of the field and the innovative products and procedures available to them with one overarching thought in mind: improving patient care.

It will be interesting to follow over the next several months how EFORT builds upon the interactivity and new topics that emerged from the discussions at the Lisbon event. Next year’s congress is scheduled to be held in Vienna and will include a similar volume and variety of scientific sessions.

EFORT

LISBON, Portugal — The European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology provided a platform for its 39 member societies to gather together in a spectacular venue in the heart of Lisbon, Portugal to present more than 180 scientific and informative sessions featuring more than 2,000 international presenters. The stated theme of the annual congress was “registries and impact on practice,” which was clearly represented in the publication made available to every congress attendee: EFORT Open Reviews (Volume 4).

EFORT Open Reviews 

EFORT is the platform organization linking Europe’s national orthopaedic associations. Its aims reflect the will of all the participating associations to promote the exchange of scientific knowledge and experience. This purpose was clear in the structure and interactivity of the sessions available to attendees with a demonstrable focus on research and education.

Beyond the stated focus on registries, having attended the multiday event onsite, another theme emerged amongst presenters and participants alike: an unwavering commitment to improving patient care. The heartfelt commitment to that goal was palpable not only in the topics selected for discussion during the sessions, but also in the bottom line of each session in which presenters uniformly summarized patient care as a key priority.

Practitioner attitudes, behavior

For example, in a discussion on the impact of smoking cessation on post-surgical outcomes of patients, a variety of presenters showed relatively unanimous independent results that cessation programs have a measurable effect on providing better patient outcomes following a surgical intervention. The data were clear, but highlighted as part of the discussion were the attitudes and behaviors that practitioners who seek to improve their patient should undertake.

Presenter Pell Gustafson, speaking from the perspective of risk management as viewed from the insurance industry, summarized the distinction between insurance and medical practice:

“What is the effect of good patient safety work? Nothing. It is not enough to just know that smoking provides the worst outcomes as the data show us, but we must do something. Ten to 15 years ago, all we talked about was equipment to improve patient care, and now we look to people through certification, competence, and procedures, as well as culture through attitudes, behavior and accountability. We not only manage risk through prevention, but we now proactively take patient care as a part of everything we do.”

The concern for patient care was not only evident in open policy dialogues like that of the symposium on smoking cessation, but was also clear in more practical sessions, such as extremely technical talks on topics such as total ankle arthroplasty vs. ankle arthrodesis. For every orthopaedic specialty, there was a detailed discussion from which practitioners could take away new facts and review case studies.

PAGE BREAK

Smartphone app

EFORT innovatively facilitated these discussions with its “EFORT 2019” smartphone app available to all participants. In nearly every session attended, presenters interacted with the audience through the app, whether in general polling or in matters that involved audience discussions to find best practices in case studies. At times, the input was not what was expected by the presenter, taking the dialogue into new and unforeseen territories. The app brought every audience member into the discussion, at a minimum as part of the group feedback and also at times to raise questions and fuel discussion on key topics with direct impact on approaches to be taken in real-life practical circumstances.

In the expert review session on pain management in total knee arthroplasty, panelists presented real cases from their own practices. From a practical perspective, the cases and discussion were divided into two key subdivisions: perspectives on acute pain and discussions of chronic pain. The audience in the large lecture room was standing room only, with participants lining the walls who took a knee at times to jot down notes. Even with the topical division and the best efforts of presenters, such a discussion in an overpacked venue can easily become unwieldy. Yet, EFORT event staff running microphones through the aisles ensured the lively debate on best practices and discussions of individual approaches could be shared efficiently. That, and with the interactivity of the smartphone app helped facilitate the face-to-face discussion, which kept audience members engaged in an experience and exchange that would be difficult to simulate, for example, in an online forum or in another type of tele-meeting.

High-level interactions

For an organization that is so geographically diverse with a variety of members from different cultures, the level of interaction and comradery amongst participants was impressive throughout the meeting. This was true even in moments of disaccord where two divergent camps preferred differing practices and debated the merits of one practice vs. the other, polling the audience. The diversity and inclusion of a variety of presenters, and the background preparation that was obvious, kept these discussions scientifically informed and professionally beneficial to all.

Industry involvement in annual congresses is a staple of these types of gatherings, and this year’s impressive display of the latest devices and tools for practitioners on the display floor was no exception. The exhibition floor was kept separate from the scientific discussions in such a way that students, professors and practitioners in all fields could on the one hand benefit from the scientific and data-led discussions with their colleagues and then soon thereafter seeing their practical application in the form of the manufacturers’ tools available to best implement the techniques being discussed in the scientific sessions.

PAGE BREAK

Poster presentations, discussions

Not to be overlooked was the poster hall where researchers could present and discuss their studies and results. Authors could interact directly with mingling congress attendees, which increased the interactivity between peers and potentially raise the level of discussion on new research and provided fresh perspectives.

EFORT in its own right provided a venue to bring together the top minds, best practitioners and most influential industry representatives to flesh out new and better ways to provide care for those patients in need of better mobility, faster recovery times and improved quality of life in conjunction with musculoskeletal health issues. This annual forum is supplemented by numerous print and online publications and increasingly involves follow-on e-learning and interactive discussions throughout the year. Members voiced their requests for standards and continuously improving ways to share best practices and to improve their knowledge of the field and the innovative products and procedures available to them with one overarching thought in mind: improving patient care.

It will be interesting to follow over the next several months how EFORT builds upon the interactivity and new topics that emerged from the discussions at the Lisbon event. Next year’s congress is scheduled to be held in Vienna and will include a similar volume and variety of scientific sessions.