Provider volume and outcomes for oncological procedures

Authors


Abstract

Background:

Oncological procedures may have better outcomes if performed by high-volume providers.

Methods:

A review of the English language literature incorporating searches of the Medline, Embase and Cochrane collaboration databases was performed. Studies were included if they involved a patient cohort from 1984 onwards, were community or population based, and assessed health outcome as a dependent variable and volume as an independent variable. The studies were also scored quantifiably to assess generalizability with respect to any observed volume–outcome relationship and analysed according to organ system; numbers needed to treat were estimated where possible.

Results:

Sixty-eight relevant studies were identified and a total of 41 were included, of which 13 were based on clinical data. All showed either an inverse relationship, of variable magnitude, between provider volume and mortality, or no volume–outcome effect. All but two clinical reports revealed a statistically significant positive relationship between volume and outcome; none demonstrated the opposite.

Conclusion:

High-volume providers have a significantly better outcome for complex cancer surgery, specifically for pancreatectomy, oesphagectomy, gastrectomy and rectal resection. Copyright © 2005 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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