[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT:
From 2006 to 2008, an audit of the multidisciplinary diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer patients in the western part of the Netherlands was carried out. We evaluated whether compliance with guidelines had improved.
All patients with newly diagnosed and surgically treated colon (n = 1,667) and rectal cancer (n = 544) stage I-III were evaluated. Nine quality indicators were derived from the evidence-based guidelines. In order to compare hospital performances, hospital results were adjusted for casemix differences between hospitals.
Colon cancer patients showed an increase in the examination of 10 or more lymph nodes (from 53% to 78%, P < 0.0001). For rectal cancer patients there was an increase in preoperative visualisation of the total colon (63-74%, P = 0.02), MRI (73-85%, P = 0.003), radiotherapy (from 82% to 93% for patients <75 years, P = 0.01) and examination of at least 10 lymph nodes (40-55%, P = 0.004). In 2006, standardised hospital performances differed widely for all quality indicators. Two years later, hospital performances for some quality indicators were more similar.
After the feedback of benchmark information, compliance with guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer patients improved, and differences between individual hospitals decreased. Although secular trends cannot be ruled out, it is highly likely that these results can be attributed to the audit.