The CRIOAc healthcare network in France: A nationwide Health Ministry program to improve the management of bone and joint infection

Orthop Traumatol Surg Res. 2019 Feb;105(1):185-190. doi: 10.1016/j.otsr.2018.09.016. Epub 2018 Nov 6.


Background: Bone and joint infections (BJIs) have a major clinical and economic impact in industrialized countries. Its management requires a multidisciplinary approach, and a great experience for the most complicated cases to limit treatment failure, motor disability and amputation risk. To our best knowledge there is not currently national specific organization dedicated to manage BJI. Is it possible to build at a national level, a network involving orthopaedic surgeons, infectiologists and microbiologists performing locally multidisciplinary meetings to facilitate the recruitment and the management of patients with complex bone and joint infection in regional centers?

Hypothesis: A national healthcare network with regional labeled centers creates a dynamic that improves the recruitment, the management, the education, and the clinical research in the field of complex BJI.

Patients and methods: We describe the history of this unique national healthcare network and how it works, specify the missions confided to the CRIOAcs, evaluate the activity of the network over the first decade, and finally discuss perspectives.

Results: The labelling of 24 centers in the CRIOAc network allowed for a meshing of the territory, with the possibility of management of complex BJI in each region of France. A dedicated secure national online information system was designed and used to facilitate decision-making during multidisciplinary consultation meetings. Since October 2012 to June 2017, 4553 multidisciplinary consultation meetings have been performed in the structures belonging to the network, with 34,607 cases discussed in 19,961 individual. Prosthetic joint infections represented 38% (7585/19,961) of all BJIs. Among all the cases discussed, the rate of complexity was of 61% (21,110/34,607) (related to antibiotic resistance, infection recurrence, patient co morbidities). A national scientific meeting was created and a national postgraduate diploma in the field of BJI was launched in 2014. The promotion of education, clinical research and interactivity between each academic discipline and between each labeled centers across the country has synergized the strengths and have greatly facilitated the management of patients with BJI.

Discussion: The setting up of the CRIOAc network in France took time, and has a cost for the French Ministry of Health. However, this network has greatly facilitated the management of BJI in France, and allowed to concentrate the management of complex BJI in centers that have significantly gained skills. There is, to our knowledge, no other exemple of such nationwide network in the field of BJI.

Level of evidence: IV, case series without control group.

Keywords: Antibiotherapy; Bone and joint infection; Network; Osteomyelitis; Reference center.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Infectious / therapy
  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • France
  • Government Programs*
  • Health Information Systems
  • Humans
  • Infection Control*
  • Infections / therapy*
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Microbiology*
  • Orthopedics*
  • Osteomyelitis / therapy
  • Patient Care Team
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / therapy
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data