Mapping changes in surgical mortality over 9 years by peer review audit.
This study examined trends in clinical practice for patients dying under surgical care. Investigators evaluated more than 40,000 deaths and discovered several notable findings. These included reduced mortality after elective procedures, fewer adverse events attributed to deaths, greater identification of systems as an area for improvement, and increased utilization of deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis. The authors conclude that continuous peer review offers an important and cost-effective method for improving the safety and quality of care.