CHICAGO (June 11, 2009) New research published in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows that a risk calculator developed by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) can help surgeons provide patients with more detailed and accurate preoperative information about the risk of death and complications following colorectal surgery. The tool will also allow surgeons to adjust risk probabilities for patients based on their hospital's performance during prior years.
Accurately predicting risk of postoperative adverse outcomes is central to the delivery of high-quality surgical care. Although clinical decision-making and patient consent have historically been informed by clinical experience, physicians and patients are in need of more detailed, customized information about the postoperative risk of infection, cardiovascular events and other adverse outcomes. Currently available risk-estimating tools have one or more limitations associated with lack of specificity to operation type, reliability, and range of outcomes predicted. Furthermore, although other risk-assessment tools have focused almost exclusively on individual patient risk factors, it is well understood that hospitals influence surgical outcomes.
"This novel predictive tool will help surgeons and patients more accurately weigh the risks and potential benefits of colorectal operations," said Mark E. Cohen, PhD, Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care, American College of Surgeons. "The calculator provides a comprehensive assessment of risk based on both patient and hospital factors and may serve as a template for the development of similar tools for other types of operations."
"In addition to improving informed decision making, this tool could also improve resource planning and could highlight concerns for potential risk modification," said Karl Y. Bilimoria, MD, MS, a surgical resident at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern
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