Studies show tracking surgical outcomes doesn't necessarily lead to improvement

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

April 28, 2015


Two studies published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) indicate that improvements in surgical care are not dependent on tracking surgical complications.
Specifically, researchers focused on the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP), which collects voluntarily reported information from hospitals.
Researchers at the University of Michigan compared Medicare data from the 263 hospitals that report to NSQIP and the 526 that do not, and they found that there were no statistically significant improvements between 2003 and 2013 in 30-day mortality, serious complications, reoperations, and readmissions. Although surgical outcomes improved progressively over time, participation in NSQIP was not associated with that improvement.
The second study, conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, compared data from NSQIP with the University HealthSystem Consortium between 2009 and 2013.
Again, there were no statistically significant differences in the rate of complications, serious complications, or mortality.
This is an excerpt from an article in the Patient Safety Monitor Journal.
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