Enormous Surgical Variation Found in California
The same goes for hysterectomies. Research suggests that hysterectomies, one of the most common and controversial surgical procedures in the country, is often unnecessarily performed to correct endometriosis, which can usually be corrected through easier methods, Parker suggests.
Brian Paciotti, an OSHPD research scientist who specializes in utilization statistics, emphasizes that his agency is not pointing fingers at any hospital system or provider group for anomalies in care. But he says for those counties where there are large differences, "it's up to the people, and the stakeholders, in these counties to drill down and take a look at why."
The state also released three other county-by-county charts listing:
- Pediatric quality indicators, including rates of short-term diabetes complications, asthma, gastroenteritis, perforated appendix and urinary tract infections
- Prevention indicators, including rates of uncontrolled diabetes, bacterial pneumonia, congestive heart failure, hypertension, and diabetic lower extremity amputations
- Patient safety indicators, indicating avoidable hospital events, such as postoperative hematoma or hemorrhage, postoperative wound problems, infections related to care, and pneumothorax related to care.
The 2007 charts can be compared with 2006 or 2005 to see if any of practice patterns may be shifting.
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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