Guidelines for quality improvement in cardiac surgery : the College of Cardiac Surgery : results of the 2007 survey
Acta chirurgica Belgica. - Brussel, 1946 - 1996
, p. 638-644
University of Antwerp
Optimal delivery of health care is a common goal of individual physicians, professional organizations, hospital structures and governmental authorities. A growing concern has emerged from the public, media and third payer organizations concerning the quality of care and the amount of resources spending. In the United States, large databases, guidelines and performance evaluation have been elaborated by medical societies, particularly in the area of cardiac surgery. These tools are useful for improvement of patients' care, resources distribution, pay for performance and public and practitioners' awareness. The evaluation of quality is based on composite models combining structure, process and outcome indices. However, pitfalls such as patients' selection, and risk avoidance in order to improve results must been prevented by adjustment of the treated populations' risk factors by specific scores. The Belgian Health authorities have built a structure directed at delivery of care improvement based on "Care Programs", monitored by Colleges formed by delegates of professional organizations. The College of Cardiac Surgery has promoted several studies aimed at data collection and evaluation. In 2007, a survey was addressed to all the Belgian Cardiac surgeons to define their opinion as to the best indicators of care in their specialty. These results will serve to define further avenues of research. By maintaining the responsibility of care evaluation in the hands of the involved professionals, this kind of cooperation between governmental and physicians' organizations seems to serve the best interests of the public and the practitioners.