According to Kaiser Health News, Johns Hopkins, Dartmouth-Hitchcock and the University of Michigan "pledged that they will require their surgeons and 20 affiliated hospitals to meet minimum annual thresholds for 10 high-risk procedures."
This is the latest development in the longstanding debate over surgery volume and outcomes.As KHN states, "A groundbreaking 1979 Stanford study found that patients who underwent operations at hospitals that did more... surgeries had significantly lower death rates than those treated at hospitals where they were done infrequently. That finding has since been replicated repeatedly across many specialties and found to apply to surgeons as well as hospitals. Last month, a large study found that the risk of complications was far higher among surgeons who performed only one thyroid removal annually than among those who did 25 or more of the tricky procedures per year."
Groups such as the American College of Surgeons and The Joint Commission have expressed concerns about the implementation of these new standards. Mark Chassin, president of The Joint Commission, states, "Volume should never be used by an accrediting organization as a measure of quality."
For the full story from KHN, click here.