What it is:
Patients undergoing heart surgery will have access to an unprecedented wealth of data about survival rates and the performance of their surgeon and hospital unit. The Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery (SCTS) is launching a new website (Blue Book Online) aimed at giving precise information on specific operation outcomes. Patients would now be able to access ‘the most contemporaneous surgical data. This website allows access to information that is held in the UK National Adult Cardiac Surgery Audit. When a heart operation happens in an NHS hospital (and a number of the private hospitals), data is collected about the clinical condition of the patient, the operation itself, and post-operative outcomes including mortality.
Why it is cool:
We first thought that it was to overwhelming view for people, that it’s too complicated and hard to understand. This is cool because people learn much more about surgery and health care. Now surgeons will be able to compare their own performance against general trends. Hundreds of patients were found to have died as a result of poor care. It seems that the only effective way of preventing further gross failures of clinical governance is to have more widespread and transparent use of clinical outcomes data.