SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • postoperative complications;
  • quality;
  • International Classification of Disease 9th edition (ICD)-9 codes;
  • National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP);
  • head and neck cancer

Abstract

Background

The purpose of this study was to describe and compare how postoperative complications after oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) surgery are reported in medical records, institutional billing claims, and national clinical registries.

Methods

The medical records of 355 previously untreated patients who underwent surgery for oral cavity SCC at our institution were retrospectively reviewed for postoperative complications. Information was compared with claims and National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) data.

Results

We identified 219 patients (62%) experiencing 544 complications (10% major). Billing claims identified 29% of these patients, 36% of overall complications, and 98% of major complications. Of overlapping patients, NSQIP identified 27% of patients, 33% of overall complications, and 100% of major complications noted on chart abstraction.

Conclusion

The incidence of minor postoperative complications after oral cavity SCC surgery is relatively high. Both claims data and NSQIP accurately recorded major complications, but were suboptimal compared to chart abstraction in capturing minor complications. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 37: 851–861, 2015