• Mortality Rate Higher For Some Following Urology Surgery Complications
  • September 9, 2014 | Author: Jennifer L. Keel
  • Law Firm: Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. - Englewood Office
  • There could be increased mortality rates with the shift from in-hospital to outpatient procedures for urology surgeries, according to a new study from researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan. However, that's not all the study revealed.

    The data also suggested that mortality rates were higher as a result of post-operation complications in individuals who were older, had co morbidities, a minority or had public insurance.

    "These high-risk patients are ideal targets for new health care initiatives aimed at improving process and results," said Jesse Sammon, lead author of the study and a researcher at Henry Ford's Vattikuti Urology Institute. "Urologic surgeons and support staff need a heightened awareness of the early signs of complications to prevent such deaths, particularly as our patient population becomes older and has more chronic medical conditions."

    FTR and mortality
    The study primarily focused on a measure called Failure to Rescue, which highlights safety and quality care concerns in hospitals across the country.

    "Failure to rescue describes the inability of a provider or institution to recognize key complications and intervene before mortality," Sammon said. "While comparison of overall complications and mortality rates penalizes hospitals treating sicker patients and more complex cases, FTR rates may be a more accurate way to assess safety and quality of care."

    After assessing patients following urologic surgery between 1998 and 2000, the study showed that while mortality rates remained relatively constant, FTR rates increased significantly. According to the data, deaths attributed to FTR increased an average 1.5 percent every year.

    Sammon noted that while lower mortality rates attributed to FTR have occurred across the health care system as a whole, the opposite can be said about urological procedures. However, while the study provides a clear link to FTR and mortality, the question remains: What can be done about it? According to one expert, the goal should be to prevent the issues before they arise.

    "The message from this study is clear: Better efforts must be made to implement already well-established preventative measures, especially in vulnerable groups,"said G. Joel DeCastro, assistant professor in the Department of Urology at New York Presbyterian Hospital. "However, established preventative guidelines may not be sufficient for higher risk groups like older and more comorbid patients. Studies into more aggressive measures should be undertaken."