Study notes that quality measures improve outcomes independent of volume

Adherence to quality measures—independent of hospital or surgeon case volume—is associated with improved mortality rates for patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures, according to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Selected portions of the Annals article abstract is included below.


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Background: Care from high-volume centers or surgeons has been associated with lower mortality rates in coronary artery bypass surgery, but how volume and quality of care relate to each other is not well understood.

Objective: To determine how volume and differences in quality of care influence outcomes after coronary artery bypass surgery.

Setting: 164 hospitals in the United States.

Results: After adjustment for clinical factors, lowest surgeon volume and highest hospital volume were associated with higher mortality rates and lower readmission risk, respectively.

Conclusion : Maximizing adherence to quality measures is associated with improved mortality rates, independent of hospital or surgeon volume.


(SOURCES: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing,, May 22, 2009; Annals of Internal Medicine,, accessed June 1, 2009)