Evaluation of surgical performance: how to do it?

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Assessment of surgical performance is a must for every surgical practice nowadays and can be done by using scientific methods imported mostly from the Quality control tools that have been in use for long in industry. Surgical performance comprises several dimensions including clinical activity (mortality and morbidity as end points), academic activities, research and, more and more, efficiency. Stable long time results (efficacy), reducing error (safety) and meeting patient expectations (patient satisfaction) are among other performance components. This paper focus on the precise definitions of mortality and morbidity related to surgical activities and on the tools to evaluate patient complexity and assess pre operative risk. Some graphic representations are suggested to compare performance profiles of surgeons and to define individual performance profiles. Strong emphasis is put on pre operative risk assessment and its crucial role to interpret divergent surgical results. Where risk assessment is not possible or is unavailable, observed / expected ratios (O/E) for a given endpoint , be it mortality, length of stay or morbidity, must be established and routinely used to refer results and to identify performance outliers. Morbidity is being pointed out as a most valuable performance indicator in surgery because it is sensitive and comprises efficiency, safety and quality, at large.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)137-43
JournalRevista Portuguesa De Cirurgia Cardio-Toracica E Vascular : Orgao Oficial Da Sociedade Portuguesa De Cirurgia Cardio-Toracica E Vascular
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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