Friday, April 1, 2011

Public Reporting of Surgical Outcomes

In this weeks Lancet, a discussion around public reporting of surgical outcomes. Specific mention is made of the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland. Since 2005, the society has made outcome data freely available to the public; this has been associated with a 50% reduction in risk adjusted mortality, i.e. half as many people have died as would have been expected to die.

In terms of cost savings, the program costs £1.5 million annually, but is estimated to save £5 million per year in reduced length of stay costs.

While clinicians may be resistant to public reporting of data, it is inevitable. My opinion is that it is better to be proactive, seek to develop such databases and ensure the data represents as accurately as possible the reality, i.e. risk adjusted. 

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