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Commentary: What we learned from cutting colon surgery infections

WBUR, June 14, 2012

Dr. Matthew Hutter is director of the Codman Center for Clinical Effectiveness in Surgery, and a surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital. This post is adapted from a talk he just gave at the American College of Surgeons’ Surgical Health Care Quality Forum in Boston. Surgery to remove part of the colon is prone to nasty complications nearly one-third of the time. This high rate of complications is one reason why our quality consortium—five Partners Healthcare hospitals—chose partial colectomy as our first target for improving patient outcomes. Although our collective 29-percent complications rate was lower than the national average, we thought it could get still better.