Quality Assessment in Surgery Riding a Lame Horse

Department of Surgery, University Hospital, Raemistr. 100, Zurich, Switzerland.
Annals of surgery (Impact Factor: 8.33). 03/2010; 251(4):766-71. DOI: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181d0d211
Source: PubMed


Quality assessment in surgery is paramount for patients and health care providers. In our center, quality assessment is based on the recording of preoperative risk factors of each patient and a well-established grading system to track complications. Our prospective quality database is administrated by residents. However, the validity of such data collection is unknown.
To evaluate the validity of the recorded data, a specially trained study nurse audited our prospective quality database over a 6-month period. In the first 3 months, the audit was done in an undisclosed manner. Then, the audit was disclosed to the residents who were again subjected to a teaching course. Thereafter, the audit was continued in a disclosed manner for another 3 months, and data were compared between the 2 periods. Furthermore, we inquired about the strategies to assess surgical quality in 108 European medical centers.
Surprisingly, residents failed to report most complications; 80% (164/206) and 79% (275/347; P = 0.27) of the negative postoperative events were not recorded during the first and the second period, respectively. When captured, however, grading of complications was correct in 97% of the cases. Moreover, comorbidities were incorrectly assessed in 20% of the patients in the first period and in 14% thereafter (P = 0.07). The survey disclosed that residents and junior staff are responsible of recording surgical outcome in 80% of the participating European centers.
Recording of outcome by surgical residents is unreliable,despite active and focused training. Hence, surgery should be evaluated by dedicated personnel.

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    • "Kaafarani et al. validated this classification for ventral hernia repair [33]. In a follow-up paper by Dindo et al., they reported on the difficulty of registration of post-operative complications [34]. The surgical residents, compared to the registration by a specially trained study nurse, did not record around 80 % of post-operative negative events. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although the repair of ventral abdominal wall hernias is one of the most commonly performed operations, many aspects of their treatment are still under debate or poorly studied. In addition, there is a lack of good definitions and classifications that make the evaluation of studies and meta-analyses in this field of surgery difficult. Under the auspices of the board of the European Hernia Society and following the previously published classifications on inguinal and on ventral hernias, a working group was formed to create an online platform for registration and outcome measurement of operations for ventral abdominal wall hernias. Development of such a registry involved reaching agreement about clear definitions and classifications on patient variables, surgical procedures and mesh materials used, as well as outcome parameters. The EuraHS working group (European registry for abdominal wall hernias) comprised of a multinational European expert panel with specific interest in abdominal wall hernias. Over five working group meetings, consensus was reached on definitions for the data to be recorded in the registry. A set of well-described definitions was made. The previously reported EHS classifications of hernias will be used. Risk factors for recurrences and co-morbidities of patients were listed. A new severity of comorbidity score was defined. Post-operative complications were classified according to existing classifications as described for other fields of surgery. A new 3-dimensional numerical quality-of-life score, EuraHS-QoL score, was defined. An online platform is created based on the definitions and classifications, which can be used by individual surgeons, surgical teams or for multicentre studies. A EuraHS website is constructed with easy access to all the definitions, classifications and results from the database. An online platform for registration and outcome measurement of abdominal wall hernia repairs with clear definitions and classifications is offered to the surgical community. It is hoped that this registry could lead to better evidence-based guidelines for treatment of abdominal wall hernias based on hernia variables, patient variables, available hernia repair materials and techniques.
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    • "Classification and severity grading of surgical complications is an important, albeit not the only criterion of quality when reporting surgical outcome. Approximately 40% of general surgery series and trials and 23% of studies reporting surgical complications in urologic oncology [2] fulfil seven or more Martin criteria. Interestingly, 77.9% of the papers that used the Clavien-Dindo system to report complications after urologic procedures fulfilled seven or more criteria, a fact implying that its use contributes to higher quality reports. "
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    ABSTRACT: The incidence of postoperative complications is still the most frequently used surrogate marker of quality in surgery, but no standard guidelines or criteria exist for reporting surgical complications in the area of urology. To review the available reporting systems used for urologic surgical complications, to establish a possible change in attitude towards reporting of complications using standardised systems, to assess systematically the Clavien-Dindo system when used for the reporting of complications related to urologic surgical procedures, to identify shortcomings in reporting complications, and to propose recommendations for the development and implementation of future reporting systems that are focused on patient-centred outcomes. Standardised systems for reporting and classification of surgical complications were identified through a systematic review of the literature. To establish a possible change in attitude towards reporting of complications related to urologic procedures, we performed a systematic literature search of all papers reporting complications after urologic surgery published in European Urology, Journal of Urology, Urology, BJU International, and World Journal of Urology in 1999-2000 and 2009-2010. Data identification for the systematic assessment of the Clavien-Dindo system currently used for the reporting of complications related to urologic surgical interventions involved a Medline/Embase search and the search engines of individual urologic journals and publishers using Clavien, urology, and complications as keywords. All selected papers were full-text retrieved and assessed; analysis was done based on structured forms. The systematic review of the literature for standardised systems used for reporting and classification of surgical complications revealed five such systems. As far as the attitude of urologists towards reporting of complications, a shift could be seen in the number of studies using most of the Martin criteria, as well as in the number of studies using either standardised criteria or the Clavien-Dindo system. The latter system was not properly used in 72 papers (35.3%). Uniformed reporting of complications after urologic procedures will aid all those involved in patient care and scientific publishing (authors, reviewers, and editors). It will also contribute to the improvement of the scientific quality of papers published in the field of urologic surgery. When reporting the outcomes of urologic procedures, the committee proposes a series of quality criteria.
    European Urology 10/2011; 61(2):341-9. DOI:10.1016/j.eururo.2011.10.033 · 13.94 Impact Factor
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