Hospitals' Data Sharing Improves Surgical Care

Jeff Elliott for HealthLeadersMedia , October 26, 2010

And while there are obvious benefits to patients if medical staffs are able to lower surgery complication risk factors, the study proved there are financial incentives as well, given that a complication can add weeks to a hospital stay and tens of thousands of dollars to the bill.

"Surgical complications are very expensive," Cambell says. "Once something bad happens following surgery, it takes a lot of resources to help the patient recover." Authors of the report estimated that by reducing complication by only 1.8 percent a year would offset costs incurred by a health plan to support a similar pay for participation program within three years.

Campbell went on to say that if projects like this were more widely adopted, surgical outcomes would accelerate across the board. "This is a system and approach the nation could take to improve quality. I hope that we are able to interest the government in adopting, or at least incentivizing, this approach in many different regions across the country."

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