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Title: Quality of care in surgery and methods to assess the volume-outcome relationship
Author: Mayer, Erik K.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2697 0718
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis outlines the proposed attributes of healthcare which can define its quality and reviews existing research in this area. Specifically, the limitations of existing research into the volume-outcome relationship within surgery are highlighted, thereby addressing the ‘health outcome’ dimension of quality of care. The principles and existing application of funnel plots within surgery are reviewed alongside their ability to overcome the limitations, risks and implications of contemporary ranking of surgical performance. Methods by which future research should be conducted are proposed as a conceptual model. This model, along with the proposed ‘quality’ attributes, identifies the research themes of the empirical studies. The application of a validated methodological scoring system formally explores the limitations of existing volume-outcome research within the uro-oncological field. A cross-sectional analysis of administrative data assesses the volume-outcome relationship for radical cystectomy in England, using an improved methodology that incorporates a multilevel model to account for the relationship and influence of both the surgeon and institution and adjustment for institutional structural and process of care confounders. Subsequently, risk-adjusted funnel plot methodology is applied to the dataset to further explore provider performance. A longitudinal analysis assesses compliance with healthcare policy for radical pelvic surgery in England by exploring the patterns of service provision, in response to the existing understanding of the volume-outcome relationship for uro-oncology. This thesis demonstrates the limitations with existing volume-outcome methodology and the need for improved methodology for both the interpretation and presentation of volume-outcome research. Appropriate handling of the data in volume-outcome analysis, which recognises the hierarchical nature, is important to adequately inform future service reconfiguration. Volume-outcome research is just one component of a quality framework that will help align healthcare with quality improvement programmes and must incorporate a multidimensional approach to measuring and presenting both the clinical and patient-orientated measures of quality of care.
Supervisor: Darzi, Ara ; Athanasiou, Thanos ; Vale, Justin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral