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by Lars Aanning

Head Shot of Lars AanningAs an eight-year old in 1947, I remember passing by this hospital, just around the corner and up the block from our apartment house, every day on my way to Public School 59.The New York Orthopaedic Hospital, built around 1870, closed three years later in 1950, after merging with Columbia University-Presbyterian Hospital…

A charity hospital that treated the indigent withoutcost and those with means at cost, its main support came from generous benefactors…

New York Orthopedic Dispensary and Hosptial in early 1900sRussell A. Hibbs MD was the chief of surgery in 1929. In his report that year to the trustees, Dr. Hibbs lauded the Department for the Study of End Results “as the best means we have of knowing the results of our work and it stimulates us to the development of better methods of treatment.” Patients were followed up in the outpatient clinic and by the hospital’s visiting nurses. Accurate records were kept, and the results of operations (and research) were published in pre-eminent orthopedic journals…

Dr. Hibbs was following the principles laid down by E.A. Codman MD in his 1918 book on hospital efficiency: “Every hospital should follow every patient it treats, long enough to determine whether or not the treatment has been successful, and then to inquire, ‘if not, why not’ with a view to preventing similar failures in the future.” All operations done by Dr. Codman in the first five years at his Boston hospital, and every failure – immediate or in follow-up for years – was carefully documented and published for all to see…

Both these surgeons emphasized patient safety - and the effectiveness of their operations on patients...

Don’t know of any hospital today that keeps similar track of all their surgical outcomes…

Report of the Surgeon-In_Chief

More pages from this report can be found at:
https://archive.org/details/yearbook00newy_0/page/n29

Other articles by Lars Aanning are here.