Publication Abstract

Authors: Farjah F

Title: Failure-to-Rescue in Thoracic Surgery.

Journal: Thorac Surg Clin 27(3):257-266

Date: 2017 Aug

Abstract: Variability in outcomes not attributable to case mix or chance is an indicator of low-quality care. Failure-to-rescue is an outcome measure defined as death during a hospitalization among patients who experience a complication. Researchers have used this measure to better understand the determinants of an untimely death-preventing complications, rescue, or both. Studies repeatedly find that complication rates vary little, if at all, across hospitals ranked by risk-adjusted mortality rates, suggesting that hospitals are equally capable (or incapable) of preventing complications. In contrast, variation in failure-to-rescue rates seems to explain much of the variation in risk-adjusted hospital-level mortality rates. These findings suggest that system-level interventions that allow for the early detection and treatment of complications (ie, rescue) may reduce variability in hospital-level outcomes and improve the quality of thoracic surgical care.