Variability in post-operative mortality

In this database analysis of 84,730 patients who underwent general or vascular surgery, hospital mortality rates were divided into quartiles, and widely varied from 3.5% to 6.9%. Although the rate of total complications was similar across the high and low quartile hospitals, the mortality differential among patients with a major complication was almost twice as high in high quartile hospitals, compared to low quartile hospitals (21% vs 13%). This indicates that emphasis must not only be placed on preventing complications, but on managing complications once they occur, to reduce mortality associated with major surgery (abstract)

Danielle Scheurer

Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.

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