Letters Surgical outcome data

Interpret surgical outcome data with care

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a1401 (Published 27 August 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1401
  1. Peter J E Holt, clinical lecturer in vascular surgery1,
  2. Jan D Poloniecki, reader in medical statistics2,
  3. Matt M Thompson, professor of vascular surgery1
  1. 1St George’s Vascular Institute, London SW17 0QT
  2. 2St George’s University of London, London SW17 0RE
  1. peteholt{at}btinternet.com

    Surgical outcome measures available on the NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk/Pages/Mortalityrates.aspx) included the number of operations performed, readmission rates, and a broad estimate of procedural risk.1 We believe the reported data were undermined by inaccuracy. Furthermore, the numerical data seemed to have been available only to the press, rather than being clearly in the public domain.2

    The outcomes seemed to be based on secondary uses service data that may not …

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