The adult cardiac surgery transparency agenda
Transparency in clinical outcomes is at the heart of the coalition government's healthcare policy. The SCTS has a long history of collecting, analysing, feeding back and publishing mortality rates for heart surgery in the UK. More recently we have been undertaking a number of projects to add further transparency to the data to help patients, the public, surgeons and other healthcare professionals.
Today (17th June) sees a publication in the medical journal HEART, descring these initiatives. They include
- Publication of outcomes data for patients
- Publication of trends and ouctomes in adult heart surgery (blue book online)
- A governance toolikit for surgeons to allow them to monitor the outcomes for their patienst more closely. This will be released by the end of June 2013.
- The SCTS governance toolkit - this has been designed to give surgeons better access to the data on ther patients' outcomes, so they can monitor their practice more closely. This is due for release by the end of June 2013.
- A Blue Book specifically for patients, due for publication by the end of June 2013
- The SCTS outcomes APP to make outcomes of surgery from the clincial database more readily available to patients and healthcare professionals to support clinical decision making. This is again due for release through www.scts.org by the end of June 2013. It will be availble for iPhone, iPad and web browsers, world wide for free.
Blue Book online updated
The blue book online is a website to give access to activity data and outomes of adult heart surgery in the UK. We have recently updated the site to include data for all operations up to the end of March 2012. There is inevitably some delay between the operations being undertaken, and us having the data ready to publish, but we hope to have the information for the year to March 2013 available by the end of September 2013.
Adult cardiac surgery is safe 24/7
A study by SCTS and published in the BMJ http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e67/rr/575993 showed that the excellent results of cardiac surgery in the UK are just as good on Monday as they are on Friday, as well as the weekend. The commitment of cardiac surgeons in the UK to deliver professionally led high quality clinical governance is at the core of our work and we encourage all other specialties to follow our example.
SCTS publish Blue Book online
In a further move towards greater transparency, patients will now be able to access a wealth of data about heart surgery in the UK. Blue book online, which has been developed in partnership with the National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research (NICOR), North West eHealth and Manchester Academic Health Science Centre is being launched today, Monday 18 March, at the SCTS annual meeting in Brighton. The site gives information about trends in activity and outcomes for adult cardiac surgery in the UK. It will sit alongside the existing website to provide further information and reassurances to patients about the quality of UK heart surgery.
The ultimate aim of the websites is to help patients make informed choices about their care and is a major step along the way of placing patients firmly at the centre of healthcare delivery.
SCTS publish adult cardiac surgical outcome data
Since 2005 mortality data after adult cardiac surgery for all NHS hospitals in the UK and about 80% of surgeons have been published on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) website. More recently the CQC have decided that they no longer wish to update the data, and after discussions with a number of different organisations, the SCTS has taken the pragmatic decision that publication of this data is so important to drive overall quality of outcomes, prevent failures of clinical governance and support patient choice that we should do it ourselves on this website. The data includes mortality rates for all patient undergoing surgery between 1st April 2008 and 31st March 2011. To see the data please click here
Maintaining Patients Trust:
Modern Medical Professionalism
To download the full pdf of the above publication, please click here.
The Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland was set up by the profession to enhance the quality of care delivered to patients, by developing all aspects of cardiothoracic surgery. It is often referred to as “the Society” or SCTS. It represents the views of cardiothoracic surgeons, allied professionals and lay people who are members of the SCTS on all major topics of interest in the specialty. The SCTS develops guidelines on clinical management, working practices and supports the training and education of cardiothoracic trainees and allied health professionals. The SCTS organises a meeting every year. The last one was in Manchester 2012. Click here to see the video.
With the Royal College of Surgeons and government bodies, the SCTS helps to monitor standards and investigate issues if and when required. The Society has taken the lead in developing a system of Quality Assurance for the Hospitals involved in Cardiothoracic Surgery and is now developing indicators of quality assurance which are patient focused.
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