• Annals of surgery · Jan 2022

    How to Establish Benchmarks for Surgical Outcomes?: A Checklist Based on an International Expert Delphi Consensus.

    • Daniel Gero, Xavier Muller, Roxane D Staiger, Christian A Gutschow, René Vonlanthen, Marco Bueter, Pierre-Alain Clavien, and Milo A Puhan.
    • Department of Surgery and Transplantation, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
    • Ann. Surg. 2022 Jan 1; 275 (1): 115-120.

    ObjectiveTo define a standardized methodology for establishing benchmarks for relevant outcomes in surgery.Summary Background DataBenchmarking is an established tool to improve quality in industry and economics, and is emerging in assessing outcome values in surgery. Despite a recent 10-step approach to identify such benchmark values, a standardized and more widely agreed-on approach is still lacking.MethodsA multinational web-based Delphi survey with a focus on methodological requirements for establishing benchmarks for surgical outcomes was performed. Participants were selected among internationally renowned specialists in abdominal, vascular, and thoracic surgery. Consensus was defined as ≥70% agreement and results were used to develop a checklist to establish benchmarks in surgery.ResultsForty-one surgical opinion leaders from 19 countries and 5 continents were involved. Experts' response rates were 98% and 80% in rounds 1 and 2, respectively. Upon completion of the final Delphi round, consensus was successfully achieved for 26 of 36 items covering the following areas: center eligibility, validation of databases, patient cohort selection, procedure selection, duration of follow-up, statistical analysis, and publication requirements regarding center-specific outcomes.ConclusionsThis multinational Delphi survey represents the first expert-led process for developing a standardized approach for establishing benchmarks for relevant outcome measures in surgery. The provided consensual checklist customizes the methodology of outcome reporting in surgery and thus improves reproducibility and comparability of data and should ultimately serve to improve quality of care.Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

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