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Colorectal surgeons develop a novel tool for measuring quality and outcomes
Date:9/26/2013

Since the publication in 2000 of a report titled "To Err is Human" by the Institute of Medicine which called for a reduction in preventable medical errors, there has been an increasing demand for making improvements in the quality and measurement of health care outcomes. Although many measures have been developed, they tend to be complex, labor intensive, have an unclear relationship with improved outcomes, and concentrate on processes of care rather than clinical outcomes.

In a new paper published online by the Annals of Surgery, physician-researchers at University Hospitals Case Medical Center describe a new tool called the HARM score that reliably measures quality and clinical outcomes for colon and rectal surgery patients. The name of the tool reflects the data sources used to calculate the score: HospitAl stay, Readmission rate, and Mortality. The paper demonstrates a strong correlation between the HARM score, and the quality of clinical outcomes achieved by surgeons and hospitals for patients having major abdominal surgery.

"There is a need for a metric that accurately and inexpensively measures patient outcomes, effectiveness, and efficiency of care," said Conor P. Delaney, MD PhD, senior author of the study and Chief of the Division of Colorectal Surgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Professor of Surgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

"The HARM score is easy to measure, derived from routinely captured data elements, applicable to a variety of procedures, and serves as an impetus for continuous improvement," he said.

Previous work they published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2010 had demonstrated that the most utilized process measures had no relationship to outcomes. Dr. Delaney said that extensive research and long-term assessment and refinement that his group has now done on enhanced recovery in colorectal surgery led them to conclude that t
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Contact: George Stamatis
george.stamatis@uhhospitals.org
216-844-3667
University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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