Heart surgeons call for mortality rate transparency

21 March 2011

Heart health specialists in the UK have called on hospitals and doctors to publish lists of the best and safest institutions to have cardiovascular surgery.

Surgeons, with the support of the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), have called for more transparency when it comes to the publication of treatment outcomes.

They claim that open access to information regarding the benefits and risks of cardiovascular surgery will give patients a clearer idea of where the best places for surgery are in the UK.

John Black, the president of the RCS, told the Guardian: "We are now hearing that the thoracic surgeons are looking to implement full reporting and there really is no reason why every surgical specialty should not now be following suit."

"The college would like to see more clinical audits funded and participation in them a mandatory condition for all providers of surgical services," he added.

Recent research published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that patients can have improved heart surgery outcomes if they are offered telephone counselling sessions after going under the knife.

Posted by Philip Briggs

1 Nolan, Robert et al. "Therapeutic Benefit of Preventive Telehealth Counseling in the Community Outreach Heart Health and Risk Reduction Trial". The American Journal of Cardiology. January 2011.

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