New Research Says Current Policy for Complex Surgery is Misguided


Newswise -- Survival after complex surgery is better not only in hospitals that do a large volume of the same procedure, but also in hospitals that do a large volume of any complex procedure, finds new research.

These findings challenge the policy that patients who need a high-risk procedure travel to hospitals that do a high volume of that procedure (known as regionalization).

Researchers examined the number of deaths within 30 days of five complex surgical procedures in relation to volume of the same procedure and volume of the other four procedures.

During the five year study period, 31,632 patients had one of the five procedures. Death rates within 30 days of surgery were lower not only in hospitals that did a high volume of the same procedure, but also in hospitals that did a high volume of different procedures.

The association with the volume of a different procedure was occasionally stronger than with that of the same procedure.

A hospital that does a high volume of any complex procedure is likely to have certain characteristics, such as location in a metropolitan area, and specialized resources that may account for improved surgical outcome, say the authors.

Strategies such as regionalizing patients who need a high risk procedure at hospitals that do high volumes of the same procedure are potentially misguided and may further exacerbate inequality of resources between hospitals, they conclude.

To read the full paper, visit

Source: British Medical Journal

Recent Videos
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology  (Image credit: APIC)
Patient Safety: Infection Control Today's Trending Topic for March
Infection Control Today® (ICT®) talks with John Kimsey, vice president of processing optimization and customer success for Steris.
Picture at AORN’s International Surgical Conference & Expo 2024
An eye instrument holding an intraocular lens for cataract surgery. How to clean and sterilize it appropriately?   (Adobe Stock 417326809By Mohammed)
Photo of a model operating room. (Photo courtesy of Indigo-Clean and Kenall Manufacturing)
Washington, USA, US Treasury Department and Inspector General Office.    (Adobe Stock File 210945332 by Brian_Kinney)
A plasmid is a small circular DNA molecule found in bacteria and some other microscopic organisms. (Adobe Stock 522876298 by Love Employee)
Peter B. Graves, BSN, RN, CNOR, independent perioperative, consultant, speaker, and writer, Clinical Solution, LLC, Corinth, Texas; Maureen P. Spencer, M.Ed, BSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC, infection preventionist consultant, Infection Preventionist Consultants, Halifax, Massachusetts; Lena Camperlengo, DrPH, MPH, RN, Senior Director, Premier, Inc, Ocala, Florida.
Related Content