Impact of Surgeon-Specific Data Reporting on Surgical Training

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK.
Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England (Impact Factor: 1.27). 11/2007; 89(8):796-8. DOI: 10.1308/003588407X232080
Source: PubMed


Since April 2002, collection and publication of surgeon-specific data in adult cardiac surgery has become mandatory in the UK. It has been suggested that this may discourage consultants from allowing trainees to perform cases. The aim of this study was to attempt to analyse the effect of the introduction of surgeon-specific data (SSD) on surgical training in a large cardiac surgical centre.
A retrospective analysis was performed on 2111 consecutive patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass surgery, aortic and mitral valve surgery at Southampton General Hospital between April 2000 and April 2004. Results were analysed and compared over a 2-year period prior to and a 2-year period following the introduction of SSD.
There were no changes in the overall mortality rate following the introduction of SSD. SSD was associated with a reduction in the overall proportion of cases performed by trainees (49% versus 42.8%; P = 0.004) and, in particular, a reduction in the proportion of aortic and mitral valve procedures performed by trainees. In addition, the proportion of cases performed by the trainees without consultant supervision declined significantly following SSD (18.7% versus 10.4%; P < 0.001).
Publication of surgeon-specific data has coincided with a decrease in both the proportion and variety of cases performed by trainees.

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Available from: Srikanth Iyengar, Mar 17, 2014
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    • "If surgeons are guarding their performance outcomes, they may reduce the training opportunities available rather than risk complications being listed under their name. Currently, only one study has explored the UK audit databases from this training perspective, which examined the impact of cardiothoracic surgeon-specific data reporting on surgical training at a single hospital centre [15]. Outcomes for 2111 consecutive patients were examined 2-years prior and 2-years following its introduction, and a significant reduction in the overall proportion of cases performed by trainees was reported. "
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    ABSTRACT: Government-mandated publication of named surgeon-specific outcome data (SSD) has recently been introduced across nine surgical specialty areas in England. This move is the first time that such national data has been released in any country, and it promises to provide a significant advancement in health service transparency. Data is derived from nine preexisting national surgical audit databases. However, eight of these were not originally designed for this purpose, and there is considerable controversy surrounding data quality, risk adjustment, patient use and interpretation, and surgeons' subsequent case selection. Concerns also surround the degree to which these results truly reflect the individual consultant, or the wider hospital team and accompanying resources. The potential impact on surgical training has largely been overlooked. This paper investigated the background to SSD publication and controversies surrounding this, the potential impact on surgical training and the response to these concerns from medical and surgical leaders. As SSD collection continues to be refined, the most appropriate outcomes measurements need to be established, and risk adjustment requires ongoing improvement and validation. Prospective evaluation of changes in surgical training should be undertaken, as any degradation of will have both short and long-term consequences for patients and surgeons alike. It is important that the literature supporting the safety of supervised trainee practice is also promoted in order to counterbalance any potential concerns that might detract from trainee operating opportunities. Finally, it is important that outcomes data is communicated to patients in the most meaningful way in order to facilitate their understanding and interpretation given the complexities of the data and analysis involved. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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