Public reporting of individual surgeon performance information: United Kingdom developments and Australian issues.
Neil DA., Clarke S., Oakley JG.
The United Kingdom is currently introducing public reporting of performance information for individual cardiac surgeons. The reports will indicate whether a surgeon has an acceptable level of performance, measured by in-hospital mortality. In the United States, surgeon-specific performance data have been available for over a decade. Arguments from both safety and accountability perspectives provide strong justifications for public reporting of such data. Were Australia to adopt similar public reporting processes, we should learn from overseas experiences. Surgical associations should be actively involved in developing data standards and processes for data collection, validation, analysis and publication. Any Australian policy initiative for public reporting of individual surgeon data should be backed by a political commitment to adequate funding.