Toward a standard approach to measurement and reporting of perioperative mortality rate as a global indicator for surgery

Roshan Jeyaprakash Ariyaratnam, Charlotta L Palmqvist, Phil N Hider, Grant Laing, Douglas A Stupart, Leona Wilson, Damian L Clarke, Lars E Hagander, David A K Watters, Russell Lindsay Gruen

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The proportion of patients who die during or after surgery, otherwise known as the perioperative mortality rate (POMR), is a credible indicator of the safety and quality of operative care. Its accuracy and usefulness as a metric, however, particularly one that enables valid comparisons over time or between jurisdictions, has been limited by lack of a standardized approach to measurement and calculation, poor understanding of when in relation to surgery it is best measured, and whether risk-adjustment is needed. Our aim was to evaluate the value of POMR as a global surgery metric by addressing these issues using 4, large, mixed, surgical datasets that represent high-, middle-, and low-income countries. Methods: We obtained data from the New Zealand National Minimum Dataset, the Geelong Hospital patient management system in Australia, and purpose-built surgical databases in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. For each site, we calculated the POMR overall as well as for nonemergency and emergency admissions. We assessed the effect of admission episodes and procedures as the denominator and the difference between in-hospital POMR and POMR, including postdischarge deaths up to 30 days. To determine the need for risk-adjustment for age and admission urgency, we used univariate and multivariate logistic regression to assess the effect on relative POMR for each site. Results: A total of 1,362,635 patient admissions involving 1,514,242 procedures were included. More than 60 of admissions in Pietermaritzburg and Port Moresby were emergencies, compared with less than 30 in New Zealand and Geelong. Also, Pietermaritzburg and Port Moresby had much younger patient populations (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17 - 26
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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