“Raising the bar” for outcomes after radical prostatectomy

There is another rather entertaining, 10-minute video today on the Medscape Oncology web site showing a conversation  between Dr. Matt Cooperberg of the University of California, San Francisco and Dr. Andrew Vickers of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

The topic of their discussion is what needs to happen to “raise the bar” with respect to quality of outcomes after radical prostatectomy and finding ways to ensure that patients are, whenever possible, able to know they are getting care from a surgeon who is carefully tracking and reporting his or her own outcomes data over time (as opposed to just quoting outcomes numbers reported by major centers).

One of the topics that Dr. Cooperberg brings up during this discussion is the idea of a national registry for radical prostatectomy outcomes data so that surgeons are able to track their data and see how their own data compare to other surgeons around the country. Such a registry would allow surgeons to be fully aware of the relative quality of the care that they are providing and know that they are reaching (or exceeding) certain particular benchmarks. This is a concept of which  The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink is highly supportive.

The discussants also focus on the importance of the skill levels of individual surgeons and the necessity to define reasonable benchmarks so as to ensure that the reasonable expectations of patients are being met day in and day out.

This is the second video that also shows how some of the younger generation of urologists and urology researchers are pushing for a more patient-centric approach to the provision of care, and the responsibilities of the medical community in ensuring high quality.

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