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Il Giornale di Chirurgia

Mapping the centers performing endocrine neck surgery in Italy

Original Articles, 389 - 397
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Abstract
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Background. Quality of care and provider’s experience seem to be strictly connected in any field of surgery. Aim of this study is to identify a method to classify the centers on the basis of the number of thyroidectomies and parathyroidectomies performed.
Methods. We listed 666 centers performing endocrine neck surgery in 2015, from the database of the Italian Health Ministry. We performed a descriptive statistic analysis with a dedicated software. We identified the outliers, according to a previous literature review, in those centers performing >1000 and < 10 thyroidectomies, >100 and < 3 parathyroidectomies and we excluded them to our analysis. The remaining centers were grouped in a box-plot. Third quartile, median, procedures performed/3rd quartile value ratio (Standardized Hospitalization Ratio, SHR, superior cut-off), Romamedian/3rd quartile values ratio (inferior cut-off) were calculated. These centers were charted in a bar graph and three zones were identified: “excellence” (SHR>1.1), “SHR”, “alert” (between the two cut-offs) and “risk” (under the lower cut-off).
Results. 35743 thyroidectomies and 2306 parathyroidectomies were performed in Italy in 2015. After the outliers’ exclusion, 407 and 157 centers performing respectively thyroidectomies and parathyroidectomies were analysed. A median value of respectively 37 thyroidectomies and 6 parathyroidectomies, and a 3rd quartile cut-off of respectively 85 and 12 were calculated. Concerning all the 666 centers, we found: 95 excellence centers for thyroidectomy and 33 for parathyroidectomy, respectively 18 and 17 falling into superior cut-off line, 100 and 29 in the alert zone, 453 and 587 in the risk zone.
Conclusions. Our method, according to the literature data, highlighted a number of thyroidectomies and parathyroidectomies performed in low volume centers. Looking for an optimization in health organization, we can consider some measures such as a net of tutorship of the “alert” hospitals by the excellence ones and a discouragement of the “risk” hospitals in performing endocrine neck surgery.

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