Four (More!) Reasons To Trust Surgeon-Level Quality Data

We’ve already written about why it’s important to track individual surgeon performance.

But here’s what Ashish Jha, MD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard, said about the critical importance of surgeon-level quality data in the medical journal, JAMA last year.

Dr. Jha’s editorial is aimed squarely at the skeptics. With careful attention to research, he dismantles common objections to reporting surgeon outcomes — most of which come from the surgeons themselves. These skeptical surgeons favor facility-level quality data. However, the evidence suggests that this broader measure doesn’t give patients the information they need. As Dr. Jha put it: “picking the right surgeon is at least as important as picking the right hospital.”

Here are four reasons why. Read more »

These Dallas-Fort Worth Surgeons Perform Better than 90% of their Peers Nationwide

When you need surgery, it matters who performs the procedure.

Top-performing surgeons give you the best odds of a smooth surgery, with minimal complications and a short recovery time. Less skilled surgeons, on the other hand, are more likely to produce adverse outcomes. These can mean longer hospital stays, bigger bills, or even permanent disability or death.

Clearly, it’s worth your time to choose the best surgeon available. But finding high-performing surgeons has never been easy. Reliable outcomes data is hard to find, and even harder to interpret. We believe that should change, so we’ve done the work for you. Read more »

The Complication of Complication Rates

This week, we welcome guest blogger Dr. Donald Fry, an academic surgeon and healthcare quality expert, to address the complex problem of measuring complications and explain why prolonged risk-adjusted length of stay is one of the strongest indicators of quality.

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I have spent a great deal of my career over the last three decades looking at issues related to complication rates. One thing that has become clear is that there’s nothing clear about calculating complication rates.

As an industry, we have been collectively looking at complications for almost as long as surgical procedures have been done, but the cruel reality in 2016 is that we still do not know the accurate estimate of complication rates in surgical care. How is this possible? 

Read more »

The Challenge of Outpatient Outcome Scoring

Outpatient Surgery Quality MpiricaThe MPIRICA Quality Score is the most comprehensive and robust score available in the industry. Initially developed and backed by a team of physicians (each with decades of healthcare analytics experience), the score is based purely on objective outcomes, not subjective reviews. The score is calculated using the most recent 3 years of data for hospitals (4 for physicians) and considers hundreds of relevant risk adjustment factors. Read more »

Does higher surgery volume = better quality?

batting-average-volumeWe’ve been getting quite a few questions about the role of volume in the MPIRICA Quality Score. Mostly people want to know whether volume is a good indicator for quality, and I thought we could address it with a quick blog.

There is Conflicting Data About Volume

To give you a bit of context, there has been a lot of discussion since a “volume to outcome relationship” in healthcare was first reported over three decades ago by Luft, Bunker and Enthoven in the New England Journal of Medicine. Today volume is generally considered the only factor that have any potential correlation to quality, so most people who are concerned with quality look at volume.

Read more »

More Than Meets the Eye: The Importance of Risk Adjustment

mpirica-risk-adjustment-apples-to-orangesAs a self professed data geek, I have a special love for brain teasers. So I’d like to start today’s post with this one:

If two hospitals had the same number of patients undergoing a surgery this year, and 5 people died during surgery in Hospital A, while 10 people died in Hospital B, which hospital should you choose for your next surgery? (This is not a trick question.)

If you answer Hospital A, you are not alone. A random, not-remotely-statistically-significant, sampling of what many would consider “smart” people (mostly engineers and scientists) chose Hospital A 12 out of 15 times. Seems logical to choose the hospital that killed the fewest people, but were they right?

IT DEPENDS.
Read more »

Navigating the Murky Waters of Healthcare Decisions

Making good health care decisions is something all of us struggle with. The question that matters most to healthcare consumers is simple: how do I get the best care possible?

Unfortunately, getting answers to this question is far from simple. While most people rely on their doctors and healthcare network for referrals, the internet revolution has seen consumers turning to review sites for healthcare research. This is problematic because reviews are subjective, and lack the data needed to support proper healthcare decisions. Everyone wants a better solution, but accessing physician performance data is difficult and interpreting it overwhelms even the most sophisticated consumers. Read more »