Survey of UK Consultant Hip Surgeons’ Opinions on Surgeon Specific Data Publication in Orthopaedic Surgery.
Introduction: The publication of surgeon specific data (SSD) in the UK is presented with mortality as a key indicator. Mortality is rare but there are other measures that would be more informative such as revision and infection rates. Publication of individual surgeon data has potentially significant implications on service provision, innovation and training. Our questionnaire aims to explore the opinions on the current format of data publications and related concerns.
Methods: A questionnaire was adapted from one used in a survey of UK cardiothoracic surgeons. The questionnaire explored topics that had been defined previously in cardiothoracic literature. There is very little literature that discusses public reporting of orthopaedic outcomes. In this study 395 members of the British Hip Society election were invited to complete a modified anonymised questionnaire online utilising questions with Likert Scale answers and free comments.
Results: The return rate was 28% (110/395) which was much lower than the returns from the cardiothoracic surgeons (77%). Some of the responses include; 55% are against publication of SSD but 70% support Hospital specific data, 89% believe that published data will be misinterpreted by the public, 77% believe that published data will be misinterpreted by referring colleagues (GPs), 67% believe that publication of this data will have adverse effect on training, 63% feel that more surgeons will be risk averse, and 58% believe morale is lower amongst surgeons. There is also extensive free text commentary provided by participants all expressing concern at the current publication of data, their structure and effect.
Conclusions: From this study we conclude that the current reporting of data has made many practitioners risk-averse. There is a feeling that this data is no adequate in its current form and will be subject to manipulation with long-term effects on patient care, training, and morale.
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