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#415 Why Cancer Surgery Volumes Matter- Empowering patients with public data


Adam Andersen, Director, Quality Performance and Improvement, UI Health
Nolan Winkler, Data and Policy Analyst, Acumen LLC

Hospital cancer surgical case volume, or the number of cancer surgeries a hospital performs, is a key factor to consider when choosing a hospital or surgeon for cancer requiring surgery. Several studies from well-known, peer-reviewed journals have shown a strong relationship between the volume of specific cancer surgeries and positive patient outcomes. Patient outcomes are defined as deaths associated with the surgery (often within 30 days of the surgery) and/or complications (blood clots, infections, etc).

The evidence is so compelling that California and Pennsylvania have mandated that hospitals share this data publicly. Unfortunately, many residents in those states and the rest of the US are largely unaware of this relationship and the publicly available data, which itself can be hard to access and navigate. In addition, detailed guidance about how to go about seeking a second medical opinion for cancer is lacking. As a start to addressing this issue, the Amulet Health website was born.

Amulet Health is a patient advocacy website that shares publicly available cancer surgery volumes and other information about seeking second medical opinions for cancer surgery. The site started as a breakout group at Chicago Hack Night. The talk will focus on developing the project and website and the ongoing work to increase access to cancer surgery volume data.

ASL This event will not have an American Sign Language interpreter.