Expanding Public Reporting of Surgical Outcomes

The Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center received a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality at the Department of Health and Human Services to fund a study that uses performance data to assist patients in selecting high-quality hospitals for surgical procedures. Public reporting of surgical outcomes may also encourage hospitals to improve their quality of care. The center will work in collaboration with the American College of Surgeons and the Center for Healthcare Studies on the three-year project.

Ultimately, the group plans to create a patient-specific and patient-centered hospital comparison tool, which will provide the public with the ability to select the best quality hospitals for a particular surgery based on an individual patient’s risk factors and details of the planned surgery.

“This is a major paradigm shift for public reporting,” said Karl Bilimoria, MD, MS, principal investigator of the study and director of the center. “We are developing a totally new way to provide information to patients so they can make informed decisions on where to have their surgical care. What patients get online currently isn’t very useful, so our goal is to improve the interface, the data display, the statistical methodology, and the information provided using input from patients. We want to provide them with much more information in a way that they can digest it and use it to hopefully select a hospital that will result in the best outcome for them.”

The Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center, formed in 2011, examines hospitals nationwide with a mission to provide information on how they can improve the quality of their care. The center also focuses on examining the effect of health policy interventions on quality of care.