Improving Surgical Practice: The Value of Outcomes Data

Understanding the outcomes of surgical procedures will inform and improve practice. But it wasn’t always the case that the medical community supported the idea of measuring patient outcomes. Initially, the concept of building a registry of data for the purposes of comparing effectiveness was not welcomed by surgeons. In a thought-provoking blog post, “A Legacy of Surgical Outcomes” Dr. Tom Varghese narrates the challenges faced by one champion of “end result data” who practiced in the early 1900s.

As significant developments have taken place in health outcomes research, surgeons have adapted their behavior.  They have embraced quality improvement (QI) initiatives that impact how care is delivered to patients. 

Preparing patients for surgery was the focus of a recent Tweet chat moderated by Healthcare Leadership (#HCLDR).  120 participants weighed on the challenges and opportunities of reporting healthcare outcomes data.  The chat generated 1,216 Tweets and almost four million impressions over an hour.  Clearly, ensuring consistent quality healthcare is an important and compelling topic for discussion. 

Dr. Varghese is the Medical Director of Strong for Surgery, a program that implements and disseminates evidence-based practices to optimize patients’ health prior to surgery.  Outreach events like the HCLDR Tweet chat are an essential part of our mission to help raise awareness, and in turn, change practice. 

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