A doctor will do a better job is he or she compares patient treatment and outcomes to those performed by peers.
That’s the core idea behind SurgicalPerformance, a website that allows physicians to audit themselves and see how their work stacks up against others in the field.
With Surgical Performance, a doctor subscribes to the site (annual fee: $200) and enters patients’ treatments and outcomes in a database (all patients’ identifiable information is removed). Other doctors serve as controls and benchmarks.
The site produces outcome reports about complication rates and survival percentages. Only the user will see her/his individual results, but the outcomes of the other doctors will be displayed for the purpose of comparison.
Auditing is not a new idea in the medical profession. Professional medical organisations sometimes create old-style regional databases and report treatment outcomes to their doctors by mail. Unfortunately, participation in these programs often is mandatory and participating doctors feel watched and sometimes do not enter all results — especially the bad ones.
SurgicalPerformance currently has modules for gynecologists and obstetricians, urologists and bowel cancer surgeons. The site also offers a discussion forum where surgeons can feel free to exchange experiences with mishaps and complications.
SurgicalPerformance’s SMART 100 Application
The SMART 100 Winners List 2010