Background: We hypothesized that an archive database in conjunction with Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) review could be used to define a systematic list of post-surgical adverse events and identify areas for performance improvement.
Study design: Adverse event data following surgery were prospectively collected at the Beth Israel Medical Center in NYC from academic, specialty, community hospital, and ambulatory care settings over a 5-year period from September 2000 through April 2005. A classification system and analysis methodology was developed to guide and maximize the effectiveness of M&M review.
Results: A total of 1618 adverse events, including 219 deaths, were analyzed following 29,237 operative procedures according to the analysis method described. A list of 245 adverse events was classified among 15 groups, and a subgroup of 25 adverse events accounted for over 80% of total adverse events. Five categories of adverse events were associated with death in surgical patients and 4 of 5 categories were post-operative events. Used in conjunction with M&M review, data derived from this analysis highlighted those adverse events with the greatest clinical frequency to the department's quality profile.
Conclusions: We present a classification system for surgical adverse events and propose a specific analysis method which may be used in conjunction with Morbidity and Mortality Conference to standardize the profiling of surgical performance.