HCTW news brief: An experienced surgeon doesn’t equal fewer patient deaths

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, September 11, 2009

A recent study published in the journal Archives of Surgery found that the overall system of care is more of a factor to patient mortality than whether a trauma surgeon has years of experience or is a relative novice.

One of the study's authors, Elliott R. Haut, MD, FACS, assistant professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins, told The Wall Street Journal that the findings reinforce the importance of trauma surgeons having a system in place to treat all the patients in the same way, with evidence-based guidelines.

"I think there probably are very specific cases where very experienced surgeons do make a difference," said Haut. "But when you look at it as a whole-thousands and thousands of patients treated by different kinds of surgeons-it's the system that makes the difference."

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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