In May, three academic medical systems turned up the heat on a long-simmering debate about the link between surgical volumes and quality of care. Leaders from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the University of Michigan Health System and the Johns Hopkins Health System declared that their surgeons would need to meet annual volume thresholds for 10 high-risk procedures in order to continue performing them. Likewise, hospitals in our networks would need to perform a minimum number of these procedures every year to continue offering them.

We also challenged other hospital networks to take the “volume pledge” in the interest of patient safety and quality. Repeated studies, as well as a recent U.S. News & World Report investigation, have shown that surgeons and hospitals with greater experience in high-risk procedures have better outcomes compared to those with lower volumes. 

This post is from Dr. Peter Pronovost, Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine and Co-founder of Doctella. This is an excerpt reposted from his blog, Voices for Safer Care. Please visit his website to read the full article.