When things go wrong: The impact of being a statistical outlier in publicly reported coronary artery bypass graft surgery mortality data

Walter H. Ettinger, Sharon M. Hylka, Robert A. Phillips, Lynn H. Harrison, Jay A. Cyr, Andrew J. Sussman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

The public reporting of hospital quality and safety data is a growing phenomenon. Yet there are few reports of the effects of publicly reported data on individual organizations, particularly when the data show worse than expected performance. In this article, our hospital's response to having a mortality rate from coronary artery bypass graft surgery that was significantly higher than other programs in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is reported. The data caused suspension of elective cardiac surgery at the institution, and an independent review of the program was undertaken. The effects of the suspension and publication of mortality data on quality and patient safety, the residency training program in cardiothoracic surgery, and the financial performance of the hospital are described. Several lessons were learned that may be of value to other health care organizations that experience a public crisis in clinical quality. (Am J Med Qual 2008;23:90-95).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-95
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Quality
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

Keywords

  • Cardiac surgery
  • Mortality rates
  • Performance improvement
  • Public reporting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'When things go wrong: The impact of being a statistical outlier in publicly reported coronary artery bypass graft surgery mortality data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this