Drozda Leads Big Five and Headlines Major Medical Journals

May 21, 2013

Mercy's Dr. Joseph Drozda, recently named chair

of the Healthcare Transformation Group's

Research and Development Team

ST. LOUIS - Mercy’s Joseph Drozda, Jr., M.D., was recently named chair of the Healthcare Transformation Group’s (HTG) Research and Development (R&D) Team – a group of physicians and clinical researchers from Geisinger, Intermountain Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic and Mercy who have joined forces to develop a global tracking system for implanted medical devices.

Together, the five major health care organizations are helping to implement the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Unique Device Identification (UDI) system, which provides a single, globally accepted way to positively identify medical devices.

Currently, no such tracking system exists in health care. For millions of patients around the world with implanted devices, from heart pacemakers to artificial knees, a UDI will improve patient safety, identify product problems quicker and better target recalls.

A UDI label, with a scannable bar code, provides product details including name, expiration date, reference and lot numbers, manufacturer information and an illustration.

“While devices help extend and improve our quality of life, we must be able to quickly identify and correct problem devices,” said Drozda. “It’s paramount that we improve patient safety.”

Besides leading the HTG research team’s work with UDI, Drozda was also published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), about the value of UDI in the digital health care world.

Other work by Drozda and Mercy includes:

  • The New England Journal of Medicine (Oct. 25, 2012) – Written by FDA officials, the article describes use of UDIs as key technology in device safety surveillance and mentions Mercy’s central role as the pilot performance system for the development of the program.
  • British Medical Journal (Oct. 11, 2012) – Drozda, as one of the lead UDI architects, co-authored an article on UDIs and three other new FDA strategies for improving post-market safety of medical devices. Mercy has served as a leader in piloting the program.

In other work, JAMA published a commentary this month by Drozda about clinical guidelines for physician specialty societies and health care costs. Drozda, chair of the Clinical Quality Committee of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), was also published in a 2012 Cardiology issue about how the ACC’s commitment to quality improvement is in keeping with national strategy and trends in health care.

In addition, Drozda, who has led initiatives sponsored by the American Heart Association and ACC, was published in an article on coronary artery disease and hypertension performance measures in a 2012 issue of Physician’s Weekly.

Mercy is the fifth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves millions people annually. Mercy includes 33 hospitals, 300 outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and 2,000 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit www.mercy.net.