Journal Article

Variations in surgical outcomes associated with hospital compliance with safety practices.

Brooke BS, Dominici F, Pronovost PJ, et al. Surgery. 2012;151:651-9.

Mortality after inpatient surgery varies widely between hospitals, with much of this variation thought to be due to differences in how well hospitals treat specific postoperative complications. This study of nearly 80,000 Medicare patients sought to determine whether implementation of the National Quality Forum's (NQF) Safe Practices for Better Healthcare was associated with more effective treatment of postoperative complications. The authors found that hospitals that had fully implemented the safe practices had a lower incidence of failure to rescue and lower overall postoperative mortality. Although a prior study found that adoption of the NQF recommendations was not associated with improved mortality, that study was not able to distinguish between full or partial implementation of the NQF safe practices, as was done in this study.