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  1. Patterson, Cheryl


This article revisits the application of orthopaedic service lines from early introduction and growth of this organizational approach in the 1980s, through the 1990s, and into the current decade. The author has experienced and worked in various service-line structures through these three decades, as well as the preservice-line era of 1970s orthopaedics. Past lessons learned during earlier phases and then current trends and analysis by industry experts are summarized briefly, with indication given of the future for service lines. Variation versus consistency of certain elements in service-line definitions and in operational models is discussed. Main components of service-line structures and typical processes are described briefly, along with a more detailed section on the service-line director/manager role. Current knowledge contained here will help guide the reader to more "out-of-the-box" thinking toward comprehensive orthopaedic centers of excellence.