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U.S. News Commentary: Need to Measure Hospital Rates of Minimally Invasive Surgery

A U.S News commentary questions why some hospitals have low rates of minimally invasive surgery for candidate patients, and calls for the measuring of hospital rates of minimally invasive surgery. There is a wide variation in hospital use of minimally invasive surgery and a lack of publication of utilization rates for standardized common procedures is preventing consumers in evaluating hospitals. The field of quality science is currently lacking measures that capture the appropriateness of the surgical approach. Differences in approach are well established to impact outcomes. The metric, rate of minimally invasive utilization, would begin to address this gap by creating an incentive to address surgeons who have rejected minimally invasive surgery purely as a matter of practice style, the commentary suggests. With evidence that laparoscopic surgery is superior for a select group of standardized operations, they propose that the proportion of cases performed laparoscopically at an institution be factored into the ranking of U.S. hospitals.

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