Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cardiac Results

The state of Massachusetts announced yesterday that it is going to publish mortality rates, by individual heart surgeons, on a public webiste. Here is the story in today's Boston Globe on the topic.

This is good, but I wonder again (as I have below), why the data can't be more current. Here's what I said on October 16, 2006:

... [T]he numbers are out of date and do not represent the latest volume of surgeries carried out by doctors. I have suggested to people in the state and to insurance companies that it would be very, very easy to have real-time information on these topics: The state could set up a website and give password access to each hospital, and we could update the website from our own databases virtually every day of the year. We all keep track of our doctors' clinical volumes.To keep us from "cheating" -- as if we would! -- the data submitted by us could be printed in italics and listed as unaudited until the state actually caught up with the figures in its own reports. At that point, the font could switch over to plain type.

Also, to persist with one of my favorite topics, why doesn't the website include results from solid organ transplants? These are easily counted and reported. Wouldn't you want to know these figures if you needed a new liver or kidney?

By the way, I have a feeling that Bill Clinton -- after he reads the MA cardiac surgery mortality rates -- will wonder if he should have had his heart surgery in this state rather than in NYC!

2 comments:

Manu Varma said...

Regarding solid organ transplants, it already is.

Results from solid organ transplantation (graft and patient survival as well as waiting time and wait list characteristics) is available at the SRTR (Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients) web site at http://www.ustransplant.org. The data is not real-time, but does include data from all solid organ transplants in the US.

Your hospital's data is posted on this site, as well as their comments on the interpretation of their liver transplant program.

Paul Levy said...

Here is actual site: http://www.hcp.med.harvard.edu/massdac/reports/SurgeonSpecificRates2002to2004.pdf