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Mayo Clinic chest surgeons propose measures for indicating quality of lung surgery
Date:9/9/2008

must take the lead from this group of nationally recognized leaders in general thoracic surgery and honestly analyze, document, and react to an impartial review of our outcomes and use that information to improve systems and care algorithms, even if it means the painful acknowledgment that one's own habitual techniques are not the best."

The Mayo Clinic List of Quality Indicators

To find the clearest and most meaningful measures to evaluate the quality of lung surgery, the Mayo Clinic team analyzed the care of 606 lung surgery patients who underwent 628 lung surgeries at Mayo Clinic throughout 2005. The patients' average age was 65.8 years and ranged from 2 to 93 years.

From the analysis, the following list emerged for processes that should occur prior to surgery because of their potential contribution to positive patient outcomes.

  • Pulmonary function testing
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Smoking history documentation
  • Smoking cessation therapy offered to those patients still smoking prior to surgery
  • Appropriate preoperative staging of cancer

In addition, the Mayo Clinic team identified post-lung surgery practices that improve patient outcomes. These include: use of incentive spirometry - a simple breathing exercise meant to increase lung capacity and prevent postoperative pneumonia; timely response to heart rhythm disturbances; defined measures to prevent venous clots (deep vein thrombosis); documented timely attention to pain control for patients' comfort; and follow-up care planning with the patient prior to discharge from the hospital.

The Next Step

Mayo Clinic surgeons continue to work with groups such as The Society of Thoracic Surgeons to formalize the collection and evaluation of measures of surgical quality. Adopting quality process measures as standards and compiling data regarding adherence to these standards can be accomplished
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Contact: Traci Klein
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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