Surgeon outcomes data
Consultant Outcome Data is an archive of information that includes consultant’s practice results. This includes the number of times a medical treatment or surgical procedure has been carried out, as well other measures of quality including their patients’ duration in hospital, re-admission rate, any complications, and mortality rates.
The publishing of consultants’ performance and results data allows for the identification of any issues that need addressing and can lead to best practices being acknowledged and passed on.
The data is made up of categories relating to a range of specialty areas that are performed by consultants. So, there will be variations in the outcome results because of the different methodology used, in accordance with the specialty area. There is a comparison between the consultants’ outcomes and the national average, so we can see if consultants are performing within the expected range. Those that do not fall in the expected range are called ‘outliers’. The data is up to date as it is formed of national clinical audits, which constantly look at medical practice.
The data provided by the audits are of a high standard and are sorted into twelve specialties. Depending on how the data is collected and the relevancy of this data to the consultants’ patients, the procedures and measures of mortality that are given are decided based upon each specialty.
When a consultant’s outcomes data falls outside of the national average, it is important to note the cases that they are dealing with. Some specialties have higher mortality rates on average, and thus a consultant becomes an outlier in comparison to the national average.
Instances where consultant’s performance data is not available include:
The national clinical audit may not collect procedure data for that specialty.
Too few procedures have been carried out by the consultant – In order to be reliable, enough procedures need to have been carried out for a fair analysis. Furthermore, if a doctor only started to carry out procedures part way through the analysis, or stopped practising during the analysis, then we will also see a low number of procedures that cannot be included in the audit.
If a consultant retires or stops practising.
- The data only applies to England, so where a consultant practises in Ireland for example, their data will not be available. Scotland and Wales has made available some data in certain specialties, but not all.