July 28, 2015 – Surgeon Ratings


Anchor lead:  Can a new rating system help people choose a surgeon? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Pro Publica, an investigative journalism group, has produced a quality rating system for surgeons based on outcomes, complications and other measures, with an eye toward informing anyone who might need a surgeon.  Robert Higgins, director of surgery at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Higgins: This is one of many of these report card functions that tries to separate the fact from the fiction, what’s the problem, where does it lie, who’s accountable, who’s responsible?  I don’t know that this is new ground yet this reinforces what we’ve known for some time, the Institute of Medicine report on To Err is Human.  Our responsibility as health care leaders is to try to make this the safest and the best environment knowing that there are complications that do occur, we learn from our complications.  Patient quality and safety is paramount.  :30

Higgins says for now, choosing a rating system that has a track record and has been validated independently is likely the best strategy for utilizing outcomes data, as well as checking more than one source and talking directly with your provider.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.