Public Reporting of Surgical Outcomes: Position Statement and Recommendations

Surgical Quality Alliance

Public reporting of health care outcomes and utilization is increasingly expected by patients, purchasers, regulatory authorities, as well as physicians. Despite its clear potential to positively impact health care quality improvement efforts, most reporting standards and guidance focus on primary care and do not capture the nuances of surgical care. To address this critical shortcoming, the Surgical Quality Alliance released "Surgery and Public Reporting: Recommendations for Issuing Public Reports on Surgical Care", a document that is endorsed by both CNS and AANS in addition to 20 other surgical societies. Issues addressed include use of clinical rather than claims data, transparency, reliability, accuracy, timeliness, methods for establishing "appropriateness of care," appropriate risk adjustment, standardized reporting, and opportunities for individual surgeon review and feedback. "A guidance document of this magnitude can carry significant weight with health care organizations."

Nader Pouratian, MD PhD
Los Angeles, CA

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