Effect of Surgeon and Hospital Volume on Emergency General Surgery Outcomes

Ambar Mehta, David T. Efron, Joseph K. Canner, Linda Dultz, Tim Xu, Christian Jones, Elliott R. Haut, Robert S.D. Higgins, Joseph V. Sakran

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Abstract

Background: Emergency general surgery (EGS) contributes to half of all surgical mortality nationwide, is associated with a 50% complication rate, and has a 15% readmission rate within 30 days. We assessed associations between surgeon and hospital EGS volume with these outcomes. Study Design: Using Maryland's Health Services Cost Review Commission database, we identified nontrauma EGS procedures performed by general surgeons among patients 20 years or older, who were admitted urgently or emergently, from July 2012 to September 2014. We created surgeon and hospital volume categories, stratified EGS procedures into simple (mortality ≤ 0.5%) and complex (>0.5%) procedures, and assessed postoperative mortality, complications, and 30-day readmissions. Multivariable logistic regressions both adjusted for clinical factors and accounted for clustering by individual surgeons. Results: We identified 14,753 procedures (61.5% simple EGS, 38.5% complex EGS) by 252 (73.3%) low-volume surgeons (≤25 total EGS procedures/year), 63 (18.3%) medium-volume surgeons (26 to 50/year), and 29 (8.4%) high-volume surgeons (>50/year). Low-volume surgeons operated on one-third (33.1%) of all patients. For simple procedures, the very low rate of death (0.2%) prevented a meaningful regression with mortality; however, there were no associations between low-volume surgeons and complications (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.07; 95% CI 0.81 to 1.41) or 30-day readmissions (aOR 0.80; 95% CI 0.64 to 1.01) relative to high-volume surgeons. Among complex procedures, low-volume surgeons were associated with greater mortality (aOR 1.64; 95% CI 1.12 to 2.41) relative to high-volume surgeons, but not complications (aOR 1.06; 95% CI 0.85 to 1.32) or 30-day readmission (aOR 0.99; 95% CI 0.80 to 1.22). Low-volume hospitals (≤125 total EGS procedures/year) relative to high-volume hospitals (>250/year) were not associated with mortality, complications, or 30-day readmissions for simple or complex procedures. Conclusions: We found evidence that surgeon EGS volume was associated with outcomes. Developing EGS-specific services, mentorship opportunities, and clinical pathways for less-experienced surgeons may improve outcomes.

LanguageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2017

Fingerprint

Emergencies
Surgeons
Mortality
Odds Ratio
Low-Volume Hospitals
High-Volume Hospitals
Mentors
Critical Pathways
Health Care Costs
Health Services
Cluster Analysis
Logistic Models
Databases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

Effect of Surgeon and Hospital Volume on Emergency General Surgery Outcomes. / Mehta, Ambar; Efron, David T.; Canner, Joseph K.; Dultz, Linda; Xu, Tim; Jones, Christian; Haut, Elliott R.; Higgins, Robert S.D.; Sakran, Joseph V.

In: Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 2017.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

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title = "Effect of Surgeon and Hospital Volume on Emergency General Surgery Outcomes",
abstract = "Background: Emergency general surgery (EGS) contributes to half of all surgical mortality nationwide, is associated with a 50% complication rate, and has a 15% readmission rate within 30 days. We assessed associations between surgeon and hospital EGS volume with these outcomes. Study Design: Using Maryland's Health Services Cost Review Commission database, we identified nontrauma EGS procedures performed by general surgeons among patients 20 years or older, who were admitted urgently or emergently, from July 2012 to September 2014. We created surgeon and hospital volume categories, stratified EGS procedures into simple (mortality ≤ 0.5%) and complex (>0.5%) procedures, and assessed postoperative mortality, complications, and 30-day readmissions. Multivariable logistic regressions both adjusted for clinical factors and accounted for clustering by individual surgeons. Results: We identified 14,753 procedures (61.5% simple EGS, 38.5% complex EGS) by 252 (73.3%) low-volume surgeons (≤25 total EGS procedures/year), 63 (18.3%) medium-volume surgeons (26 to 50/year), and 29 (8.4%) high-volume surgeons (>50/year). Low-volume surgeons operated on one-third (33.1%) of all patients. For simple procedures, the very low rate of death (0.2%) prevented a meaningful regression with mortality; however, there were no associations between low-volume surgeons and complications (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.07; 95% CI 0.81 to 1.41) or 30-day readmissions (aOR 0.80; 95% CI 0.64 to 1.01) relative to high-volume surgeons. Among complex procedures, low-volume surgeons were associated with greater mortality (aOR 1.64; 95% CI 1.12 to 2.41) relative to high-volume surgeons, but not complications (aOR 1.06; 95% CI 0.85 to 1.32) or 30-day readmission (aOR 0.99; 95% CI 0.80 to 1.22). Low-volume hospitals (≤125 total EGS procedures/year) relative to high-volume hospitals (>250/year) were not associated with mortality, complications, or 30-day readmissions for simple or complex procedures. Conclusions: We found evidence that surgeon EGS volume was associated with outcomes. Developing EGS-specific services, mentorship opportunities, and clinical pathways for less-experienced surgeons may improve outcomes.",
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T1 - Effect of Surgeon and Hospital Volume on Emergency General Surgery Outcomes

AU - Mehta,Ambar

AU - Efron,David T.

AU - Canner,Joseph K.

AU - Dultz,Linda

AU - Xu,Tim

AU - Jones,Christian

AU - Haut,Elliott R.

AU - Higgins,Robert S.D.

AU - Sakran,Joseph V.

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Background: Emergency general surgery (EGS) contributes to half of all surgical mortality nationwide, is associated with a 50% complication rate, and has a 15% readmission rate within 30 days. We assessed associations between surgeon and hospital EGS volume with these outcomes. Study Design: Using Maryland's Health Services Cost Review Commission database, we identified nontrauma EGS procedures performed by general surgeons among patients 20 years or older, who were admitted urgently or emergently, from July 2012 to September 2014. We created surgeon and hospital volume categories, stratified EGS procedures into simple (mortality ≤ 0.5%) and complex (>0.5%) procedures, and assessed postoperative mortality, complications, and 30-day readmissions. Multivariable logistic regressions both adjusted for clinical factors and accounted for clustering by individual surgeons. Results: We identified 14,753 procedures (61.5% simple EGS, 38.5% complex EGS) by 252 (73.3%) low-volume surgeons (≤25 total EGS procedures/year), 63 (18.3%) medium-volume surgeons (26 to 50/year), and 29 (8.4%) high-volume surgeons (>50/year). Low-volume surgeons operated on one-third (33.1%) of all patients. For simple procedures, the very low rate of death (0.2%) prevented a meaningful regression with mortality; however, there were no associations between low-volume surgeons and complications (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.07; 95% CI 0.81 to 1.41) or 30-day readmissions (aOR 0.80; 95% CI 0.64 to 1.01) relative to high-volume surgeons. Among complex procedures, low-volume surgeons were associated with greater mortality (aOR 1.64; 95% CI 1.12 to 2.41) relative to high-volume surgeons, but not complications (aOR 1.06; 95% CI 0.85 to 1.32) or 30-day readmission (aOR 0.99; 95% CI 0.80 to 1.22). Low-volume hospitals (≤125 total EGS procedures/year) relative to high-volume hospitals (>250/year) were not associated with mortality, complications, or 30-day readmissions for simple or complex procedures. Conclusions: We found evidence that surgeon EGS volume was associated with outcomes. Developing EGS-specific services, mentorship opportunities, and clinical pathways for less-experienced surgeons may improve outcomes.

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